Ricky Gervais, with beautiful Beagle Betsy.

FLOE's Patron, Peter Egan, with Betsy.

Photos © Joseph Sinclair/FLOE

Open Letter to Prof. Colin Blakemore

An Open Letter has been sent to Britain’s main proponent of animal experiments, Prof. Colin Blakemore, signed by Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Peter Egan, Paul O’Grady, Lesley Nicol, Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, Jane Fallon, Rumer, Jill Robinson MBE and Rick Wakeman.

The letter calls for Prof. Blakemore to agree to participate in a rigorous public scientific hearing, judged by independent experts from the relevant fields of science. The debate’s conditions have been endorsed as “well set out and fair” by Michael Mansfield QC.

The Open Letter

Dear Prof. Colin Blakemore,

A freedom of information request provided your letter to the Planning Inspectorate, recommending the extension of a Beagle Breeding Farm at B&K Universal in Grimston Hull. The farm will purpose breed around 2,000 dogs annually, destined for painful and traumatic laboratory experiments – typically involving dogs being force-fed chemicals in experiments lasting ninety days with no pain relief or anaesthetic. According to current medical knowledge the results of such experiments are not capable of predicting the responses of human patients, a position highlighted by The British Medical Journal in its Editor’s Choice, June 2014. Over a hundred MPs, to date, have signed Parliamentary EDMs to hear this evidence in a public scientific debate, overseen by independent judges from the relevant fields of scientific expertise. In your letter, you claim to have ‘always tried to engage with those who oppose animal research and take proper account of their objections’, and that it is ‘unacceptable’ that research ‘is impeded or prevented by extreme action’. We therefore call upon you to agree to participate in the thorough scientific hearing, as called for by the Parliamentary EDMs and their growing support.

Yours sincerely,

Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Peter Egan Paul O’Grady, Dr. Jane Goodall DBE, Lesley Nicol, Jill Robinson MBE, Jane Fallon, Rumer and Rick Wakeman.

This Open Letter will remain active a For Life On Earth, (FLOE) where further public figures can sign it.

FLOE’s Patron, Peter Egan, gives a BBC interview explaining why the letter’s signatories are so determined to support a fair public science hearing:

FLOE’s founder, Louise Owen, explains why the rigorous science hearing is so vital to judge and end the false science of trying to model humans, using animals: