• Question: Do you agree with animal testing?

    Asked by alice to Kevin, Liz, Beccy on 22 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Liz Buckingham-Jeffery

      Liz Buckingham-Jeffery answered on 22 Jun 2017:

      I think if there are no other ways of developing and testing a new medicine, then controlled, necessary animal testing in an as humane way as possible can save many lives. And has been used to develop drugs and save many lives in the past. However, I completely disagree with animal testing for cosmetics like makeup and bubble bath.

      My job doesn’t involve any contact with animals. But this is quite a tricky topic to think about. I am an animal lover, and I don’t think I could ever bring myself to be a scientist that actually does the tests on animals. Maybe this makes me hypocritical? I don’t know.

      This is an interesting ‘ethics guide’ from the BBC about this topic that I’ve read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/using/experiments_1.shtml

    • Photo: anon

      anon answered on 22 Jun 2017:

      Like Liz I don’t do animal testing – though I recognize the value of drugs that have been tested on limited numbers of animals to minimize the chance of harming the first people to use them.

      More broadly I am involved with research on animals like in Cornwall I am involved in a study looking at the movements of cattle and badgers using GPS collars (bigger ones for cattle and littler ones for badgers). The data collected help us to understand how often badgers and cattle come into contact and where/when these contacts happen. Any use of animals, even putting on a GPS collar, in research is strictly regulated with lots of checks to ensure the welfare of the animals. (We’d never use a heavy collar that would weigh an animal down.)