Petition backs animal research

In the UK, the battle for people's hearts and minds over animal research continues apace. For a long time, opponents of animal research dominated the news but linkurl:these days;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23166/, the tables seem to have turned. The latest thrust came yesterday when the Coalition for Medical Progress launched an linkurl:online petition;http://www.thepeoplespetition.com/signup/ for those who see experiments on animals as being essential. As I write, after midnight

By | April 21, 2006

In the UK, the battle for people's hearts and minds over animal research continues apace. For a long time, opponents of animal research dominated the news but linkurl:these days;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23166/, the tables seem to have turned. The latest thrust came yesterday when the Coalition for Medical Progress launched an linkurl:online petition;http://www.thepeoplespetition.com/signup/ for those who see experiments on animals as being essential. As I write, after midnight UK time on the day of its launch, nearly 8,000 people have already signed up. The organizers of the ?People?s Petition? say they want to give voice to ?the silent majority of people in Britain who want to show their support for medical research using animals in the UK.? They are asking members of the public to sign up to three statements in support of animal based research: that medical research requires some studies using animals; that medical research using animals should continue in the UK and that people involved in medical research using animals have a right to work and live without fear of intimidation or attack. linkurl:CMP;http://www.medicalprogress.org/news/newsarchive.cfm?news_id=441 is an alliance of various charities, science funders, professional groups and pharma and biotech firms. The petition, however, was apparently the brainchild of David Taylor, a man with no personal links to medical research who contacted CMP with the idea. "I wanted to show people who carry out medical research that I value and support their work and that I want to see this important work continue in Britain,? he said in a statement. ?I approached the Coalition for Medical Progress with my idea because they shared this view. I am pleased that today we are launching the People's Petition." Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, hailed the petition as a great day for medical research. ?I urge everyone who has ever been helped by medical treatment to visit the site and register their support,? he said. It?ll be interesting to see how many follow his advice.

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