Saturday, May 20, 2006


Tony Blair has angered animal rights groups this week by signing an online petition supporting drug testing on animals. Mr Blair is the patron saint of lost causes. Many people in this country (including myself) are against animal testing. You only have to look at the recent TGN1412 drug tests disaster, to realise just how unreliable animal testing can be. Animals have different physiology to humans and react differently to certain drugs than we do. What is safe and works effectively for animals doesn’t always have the same effect in a human, and in some cases can have devastating and often dangerous effects as happened in the TGN1412 drug trial. A classic example is the Thalidomide drug which caused birth defects in thousands of people, when used by humans, despite having been tested on several different species of animals with no ill effects.

What sort of example is this for a Prime Minister to set. Whilst Tony Blair backs animal testing, the large pharmaceutical companies will never bother to look for alternative methods of testing new drugs. At the end of the day it all comes down to money. All these companies are concerned about is how much money they can make from the discovery of new drugs. Some will stop at nothing to make a profit and that includes using innocent animals in torturous experiments. Mr Blair doesn’t seem to be able to separate the actions of a few animal rights extremists and the ethical concern behind them. Instead of signing the petition supporting animal testing, he should have been using his position as Prime Minister to protect the public at large and combat extremists in all sectors of our society (not just animal rights). He is completely out of touch with reality and totally unfit to govern the country.

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