Ricky Gervais, with beautiful Beagle Betsy.

FLOE's Patron, Peter Egan, with Betsy.

Photos © Joseph Sinclair/FLOE

Paul O’Grady signs the Open Letter calling for a science hearing to judge the claims of animal modelers.

Paul O’Grady on ITV’s ‘For the Love of Dogs’.

For the Love of Dogs presenter, Paul O’Grady, has joined Chris Packham, Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan in signing an Open Letter to animal experimenter Prof. Colin Blakemore, asking him to agree to debate his claims about human medicine.

The letter calls for Prof. Blakemore to agree to a rigorous public scientific debate about claims that experiments on animals can predict the responses of human patients, in disease research and medicine testing. The debate conditions have been endorsed as “well set out and fair” by leading human rights defence barrister Michael Mansfield QC: its outcome will be judged by a panel of independent experts from the relevant fields of science. Their decision can then be submitted to law makers internationally, to advise the revocation of outdated legislation which still authorises animal testing, despite its now recognised medical failure.

Paul O’Grady says:

“I’m delighted to be signing the Open Letter to Prof. Colin Blakemore and hope that he will respond positively soon. Dogs are treasured family members: our bond with them can be as close, and sometimes even closer, than than the ones we share with some humans. The toxicity experiments forced upon man’s best friend are now scientifically proven to be also failing human patients, because of species differences, as reported by the British Medical Journal. Our called-for science hearing is supported by over 100 MPs, and can fairly judge all the medical evidence in a debate format with conditions endorsed as “well set out and fair” by Michael Mansfield QC. I do hope that Colin Blakemore will agree to this fair debate, without delay.”

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 debate, as called for by the Parliamentary EDMs and their growing support.

Yours sincerely,

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

This Open Letter will remain live at FLOE, where additional public figures can sign it.


Footage filmed at laboratory Beagle puppy breeders, B&K Universal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H7zq65P_Yc&t

Prof. Colin Blakemore narrating a film about his light deprivation experiments on kittens.

British Medical Journal Editor’s Choice, June 2014, ‘How Predictive and Productive is Animal Research?’, available here.

Quotes by pharmaceutical companies against using animal testing, available here.

Dr. Jane Goodall’s filmed statement calling for the rigorous science hearing.

Expert science lecture against using animals to study humans, given by leading medical doctor Ray Greek in July 2017, University of British Columbia.

Patients Campaigning For Cures

Americans and Europeans for Medical Advancement (AFMA/EFMA)

The science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE)