Ricky Gervais petition to stop animal testing just reached 100k now to be considered for debate in Parliament

Image: Peter Egan/Facebook

Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan call out UK’s factory farm that breeds dogs for ‘painful and terrifying’ toxicity experiments

The petition just hit 100,000, at which point it qualify to be considered for debate in Parliament.

The Animal Welfare Act currently prevents “unnecessary suffering” to protected animals, which includes any animal looked after by humans as well as all wild animals.

However, the Act doesn’t apply to animals used for “scientific or educational purposes”.

Animals are currently used to test things like the development of medicine and vaccines, studying how animal and human bodies work, and to test chemicals for their possible impact on human health or the environment.

Ricky Gervais petition
Ricky Gervais

According to the RSPCA, it’s estimated that over 100 million animals are used for testing across the world every year.

Peter Egan with Scarlett the beagle
Peter Egan with Scarlett the beagle ( Image: K9 Magazine)

The petition page reads: “A recent exposé showed harrowing footage of the factory farming of laboratory dogs in the UK. Experiments on such dogs, and other animals, are today widely reported to be entirely failing the search for human treatments and cures.

“Current science from multiple fields proves that animal-based research and testing is not viable. The Government should therefore change the law to include laboratory animals under the protection of the Animal Welfare Act, to prevent their unnecessary suffering.

The campaign was set up by Ricky Gervais and actor Peter Egan, along with ‘Beagle Ambassador” Scarlett, a dog who was rescued from a lab after being tested on for two years. Beagles are a breed commonly chosen for animal testing due to their docile nature.

The petition was launched after footage was released showing the treatment of dogs at an animal testing laboratory. In the video, the dogs can be heard whimpering as they are loaded onto a lorry in small cages.

Footage captures one of the overcrowded crates
Footage captures one of the overcrowded crates (Image: Stop Animal Cruelty Huntingdon)

The footage then goes on to show a dog being fed an unknown substance through a tube, and bins labelled ‘dogs’ being wheeled out of the laboratory.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear these puppies crying out for mercy and help,” comedian Ricky said of the footage. “We need an immediate ban on this shocking animal cruelty.”

The Government previously responded to the petition in August this year, saying: “The use of animals in scientific research remains a vital tool in improving our understanding of how biological systems work both in health and disease.”

They also argued that the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which means that anyone who wants to use animals for testing purposes must be licensed and get authorisation from the Home Office, is enough to protect affected animals.

But campaigners are calling on the Government to carry out a public scientific hearing to ban experiments on animals.

An open letter by For Life On Earth, a campaign fighting against animal testing, which calls for the hearing to take place was signed by several famous supporters including Chris Packham, Paul O’Grady, and Dr Jane Goodall. So far, over 80 MPs have supported the motion.

You can add your name too, click: The petition

Support Labour Heartlands


This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.

Your support for Labour Heartlands is greatly appreciated. As an independent nonprofit news outlet, we rely on our members to hold the powerful accountable. Our kind of reporting is essential to democracy, but it is not easy, cheap, or profitable.

To continue providing impactful journalism, we need your help. It's getting really hard for us all. Becoming one of our donors. It's simple and doesn't have to cost a lot. With as little as £2, £3, or £5 a month, you can support the journalism you rely on.

While we do not align ourselves with any particular political party, we stand firmly against corruption, injustice, and the erosion of truth and the rule of law. We believe that accurate information is the lifeblood of a democracy and that facts are not up for debate.

Your contribution, no matter how small, goes a long way in helping us continue our mission. Together, we can make a difference.

Thank you, The Labour Heartlands Team