Amendment 97

Part of Environment Bill - Committee (3rd Day) – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 28th June 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green 9:15 pm, 28th June 2021

My Lords, this is an interesting group. I will stick to talking about Amendment 281 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville.

Nowadays, there is widespread recognition that animal testing is wrong and should be avoided. The expansion and development of human society has had huge impacts on all sorts of other species. Disruption to their lifestyles has been accidental and deliberate, and has resulted in suffering, death, and even extinction. Millions of animals are still abused every year in experiments that cause great pain and suffering. This is despite significant differences between the physiology of animals and humans, which can mean these experiments are ineffective or even pointless. I am sure that noble Lords know that biomedical researchers have often excluded women from clinical trials, even for drugs only for women, so how much worse to try to model on animals. A lot of non-animal technologies can be used instead, as can human tissue.

We must also not forget the harmful use of animals in education, where millions more animals are killed specifically for dissection and other educational experiments. Just as we would never think of killing a human so that trainee doctors can learn about anatomy, we should not be killing animals for people to learn. Again, technology can replace much of the need for using real animal specimens in education, but where dead animals are necessary, they can be sourced from animals that have died naturally or have been euthanised for humane reasons.

This is all about shining a light on our exploitation of other species and choosing a different course for our future. Hopefully, we are advanced enough to move beyond these barbaric practices and move positively forwards as stewards of the natural world.