Charities and Animal Research

For a list of those charities funding animal experimentation, go to:

Charities involved in Animal Experimentation (Vivisection)

Since we each wish to help animals (and people) as much as we can, we tend to give to charities. At the AVMC however, we are very careful to look into how the money is spent, in any charity we support, since animal welfare is not equally well-served by all charities.

We look at the proportion of money that is spent on each activity, we look into whether the stated activities are really occurring and being done in an effective way and we look at the overall ‘ethic’ of the charity. We also look into what overall effect the charity’s spending habits is having on animals.

For these reasons, we recommend that potential donors examine closely the activity of, for instance, the RSPCA, the UK’s biggest and wealthiest charity purporting to be looking after animal welfare. There are many questions that should be answered, with regard to use of funds, vested interest and activities. Is your money being well spent? How much should a charity pay its executives?

On a more specific tack, one of the largest single issues, in our opinion, is that of animal experimentation funded by charities. We do not contribute to any charity that does this and there are, sadly, a great many. In response to any appeal that comes our way, we are at pains to ask about this and to ensure that the response is from the officials of the charity, in writing, not by word of mouth from collectors in the street, who often do not know their charity's involvement and have not even thought about the issue. It is a tragedy that so much money pours into emotive causes, for very well-intentioned and humanitarian reasons, only to be wasted in this activity, that is of so little value to humans and yet of such terrible harm to animals and some unfortunate human victims of drug disasters.

If street collectors only knew that animal experiments were funded by their efforts, many would cease their volunteer work immediately. The AVMC asks that all charities should be open and above board, in their animal experiment activities, so that everyone in the chain is fully aware and therefore able to be properly consensual in their involvement. Every street collector and every fund raiser should be made clearly and explicitly aware of the activity. If a charity participates in or funds animal experiments, that should be proudly displayed on all letterheads, literature and collection points. If that activity is so ethical and worthwhile, as many maintain it is, why should the charity be ashamed of announcing its participation?

In our opinion, animal experiments are not advancing human medicine at all and, on the contrary, represent a real danger to human health, let alone what happens to the animals. The science is seriously flawed.

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has more than 100 member charities, which annually contribute more than £500 million to medical research in the UK.

Not all of the member charities will fund animal experiments, but many appear to support the principle of them. There are some of these who do not support animal experimentation.

Those carities committed to animal experimentation:

A few charities have formed an association actively to promote animal experimentation. At the time of writing, these are:

  • Action Research
  • The British Heart Foundation
  • The Cancer Research Campaign
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust
  • The Imperial Cancer Research Fund
  • The Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • The Muscular Dystrophy Group
  • The Wellcome Trust

The group calls itself The Research for Health Charities Group (RHCG)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is also a charity with a heavy commitment to Animal Experimentation.
While we do not doubt the sincerity of the charities involved and those who work in those charities, we deplore the sad (and dangerous) waste of well-intentioned funds and the toll in human and animal suffering that it causes. At the AVMC, we are willing to discuss and advise on charities and their activities, to the best of our available information. We are also willing openly to debate the animal experimentation issue.

“Scientists should be on tap but not on top” – Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

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