I, like you, and many other people in Southend, am an animal lover and appreciate my constituents’ conscientiousness in helping to drive these changes. I feel very strongly about this issue and am actively supporting the APPG on Human Relevant Science who have asked me to be an officer. I intend to continue campaigning on this issue.
Animal testing is an appalling and outdated practice and last year in aid of World Animal Free Research Day I made a speech in support of advancing ethical research and called for investment into human relevant science. I have further raised this question with my colleague, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and called for an action plan for setting out how the widespread adoption of human relevant research techniques can be facilitated. In acknowledgment that two-thirds of British people want to see a binding plan in place to phase out animal testing, the Government has adopted an approach to support the development of techniques that replace, reduce and refines the use of animals in research (the 3Rs). The UK Research and Innovation for the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs). The NC3Rs are committed to investing 75 per cent of their research and innovation budget on technologies which can replace the cruelty of animal testing. Progress is being made and earlier this year in May, I was delighted that my colleague, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, announced that no new licenses will be granted for animal testing of chemicals, exclusively intended to be used as ingredients in cosmetics products.
Currently, there is a great deal of misinformation being spread that the Government have reinstated animal testing for cosmetic use. This is absolutely false, the Government has said that there has been no change to, and there is no plan to change, any of the legislation related to previous EU regulatory testing using animals in the UK. This includes and is not limited to the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Act (2013), UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Registration of Chemicals), and the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act.
I am a Patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Association and as an animal lover myself, I am deeply disturbed by any companies that harm animals when we have the opportunity to invest in human relevant science. I have read Animal Free Research UK’s ‘Eight Steps’ Policy document and I fully support their calls. I look forward to working with my colleagues to unite for a kinder and more effective approach to science in the UK.