POLEGATE MP Norman Baker has co-presented a 1.5 million strong petition to 10 Downing Street, calling on the Government to develop a 'road map' for the end of animal testing.
Mr Baker was part of an all-party delegation organised by animal welfare group Uncaged who have collected the signatures.
The signatures – understood to comprise the largest animal welfare petition in British history – have been collected from towns and cities across the UK, including hundreds from Polegate, Seaford, Lewes and Newhaven residents. The petition is being submitted at a critical point in this historic debate – the UK government is currently asking for the public's views on animal research ahead of discussions with other governments over a new European Union law.
The petition cites moral and scientific reasons to work towards eliminating animal experiments.
Mr Baker claims that evidence is also emerging that shows that animal tests do not reliably predict human reactions, while non-animal methods can offer greater accuracy and safety assurance. Despite this, the number of animal experiments in Britain has increased since 2001 to more than three million a year.
Mr Baker is calling for action to reverse that trend and work towards ultimately ending animal experiments. He said, "Indifference towards cruelty has no place in a civilised society. But many animals still suffer in painful and futile experiments.
"Now is the time for the government to get a grip on this issue and push for a practical road map towards eliminating animal testing. Uncaged's hugely popular petition demonstrates that the public want targeted, positive action from the government to make animal testing history."