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Petitioning Aisling Burnand, Chief Executive, Association of Medical Research Charities

Stop forcing charities to support vivisection


The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is the main representative body of medical charities in the UK. It has recently introduced a requirement that all its members must include a declaration of support for animal experiments on their websites. This means that many of the UK’s biggest medical research charities are forced to support vivisection.

We are asking AMRC to:

1.) Overturn the requirement that all its members must publicly declare support for vivisection on their websites.

2.) Hold a debate about the scientific validity of animal experimentation.

Experiments on animals cause unimaginable suffering. Animal Aid has recently exposed research financially supported by UK medical research charities that has involved pigs and dogs being deliberately given heart attacks (supported by the British Heart Foundation); monkeys being brain-damaged with a toxic chemical and then given ecstasy (co-funded by the Cure Parkinson’s Trust); and rats and mice being subjected to around six months of poisoning with an industrial chemical (co-funded by Cancer Research UK).

The scientific community is becoming increasingly doubtful about the utility of animal research, in light of a growing body of evidence indicating that animal data cannot be reliably applied to human medicine. The British Medical Journal recently published a major article and accompanying editorial that questioned the entire basis of animal use in disease research. In her editorial, the BMJ’s Editor in Chief suggested that ‘funds might be better directed towards clinical rather than basic (i.e. animal) research, where there is a clearer return on investment in terms of effects on patient care.’[1] 

If charities belonging to AMRC were no longer forced to support vivisection, they could examine the relevant evidence and formulate their own policies. In addition, charities which support only humane research would be free to join AMRC, and bring with them their progressive policies. This would represent a huge step forward in Animal Aid’s campaign to end charity-funded vivisection.

For more information about the campaign, please visit:

[1] BMJ 2014;348:g3719

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