Proactive Bude fundraisers for the charity Animal Free Research UK, along with Bude Morrisons, are teaming up to mark the inaugural World Animal Free Research Day on 27th May as part of an ‘awareness week’. While it is also a fundraiser, in the hope that local people will give generously, it is also an informative event.
Animal Free Research UK, whose patron is actress Joanna Lumley, aims to to modernise medical research, so this annual event highlights the urgent need to update outdated regulations.
Current laws allows over three million animals, including mice, rats, dogs, cats, rabbits, primates and horses, to be used in medical experiments seeking cures and treatments for human diseases.
“That’s six animals used in research in UK labs every minute of every day,” said Animal Free Research UK’s Bude community ambassador Steph Jones-Giles.
“Yet 90 percent of new medicines that look promising in animal tests fail in human trials because they are unsafe or do not work in humans due to significant differences in our genetic makeup,” she explained.
She added: “Available new lab technology gathers more accurate data faster and cheaper. But outdated regulations demand all medical research must involve animals.
“So we’re using World Animal Free Research Day to rally all those in the town who care for animal welfare to join us in supporting this important issue.”
Monies raised will be donated to Animal Free Research UK’s Animal Replacement Centres, or ARCs, where pioneering scientists design and use modern technology instead of animals to research heart disease, brain tumours, leukaemia, dementia, breast cancer and diabetes.
Money raised in store will go to the charity’s South West ARC at Exeter University.
“We are very grateful for the support provided by the people of Bude – and we greatly appreciate the time and effort required to raise funding, especially during the current pandemic,” said University of Exeter Medical School’s Professor of Molecular Genetics, Lorna Harries.
She added: “Their support allows us to continue to develop our ground breaking, human-relevant research on diabetes and other age related diseases – as well as our ongoing COVID-19 testing project.
“Only by putting our efforts behind the development of these new animal-free approaches will we be able to move towards a situation where the use of animals in medical research is no longer warranted or accepted.”
Animal Free Research UK is the nation’s leading non-animal medical research charity funding alternative research methods and lobbying the Government to phase out animal testing.
The charity’s CEO Carla Owen said: “The amazing work of the people of Bude and the generous support of Morrisons for our World Animal Free Research Day is not only a boost for ending animals use in medical research but a showcase of community spirit in action”
She added: “Bude and Morrisons have forged a template for others across the nation to shine the community spotlight upon the cruel use of animals in British laboratories for little human benefit”
“Together we are creating powerful change and can make Britain an inspiring world leader in ethical research that finds cures for diseases and save the lives of humans and animals.”
Nichola Wickenden Community Champion for Morrisons Bude store said: “It’s important that we raise awareness about animal free research. They are a fantastic charity to have instore and I hope they have a successful week fundraising”. Between 24-28 May there will be an information hub, collection buckets at the till and staff wearing charity T-shirts. On 27th May there may even be a few of us in animal costumes to mark the occasion!