Ricky Gervais, with beautiful Beagle Betsy.

FLOE's Patron, Peter Egan, with Betsy.

Photos © Joseph Sinclair/FLOE


Ricky Gervais and After Life co-star, Peter Egan, launch campaign to uncover harrowing footage of the factory farming of laboratory dogs in the UK.

Ricky Gervais and After Life co-star Peter Egan have launched a campaign with the Daily Mirror to uncover harrowing footage showing the factory farming of laboratory dogs, right here in heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside.

The exposé shows footage filmed at MBR Acres, Cambridgeshire, revealing panic-stricken distress cries of hundreds of Beagles, kept indoors for their entire lives. The sounds of dogs crying for help crescendos as the building’s doors open: MBR workers can be seen grabbing dogs by the scruff of the neck and piling them into overcrowded trolleys; pitiful cries can be heard as individually crated dogs are loaded onto a lorry, to be transported to laboratories across the UK.

As a nation of dog lovers, the Government’s new Animal Sentience Bill enshrines in law the ability of animals to experience joy, and feel suffering and pain.

MBR Acres agrees that their dogs are trained to be laboratory ready, including offering a paw for injections and accepting paper cups on their faces, in anticipation of wearing a gas mask. MBR Acres breeds between 1,600 and 2,000 dogs annually; from 16 weeks old the dogs are sold to laboratories across the UK, to be used in toxicity experiments that can involve being force fed chemicals every day, for up to 90 days with no pain relief or anaesthetic. The dogs are killed at the end of the experiments.

Says Ricky Gervais: “I’m deeply shocked to learn that thousands of beautiful Beagles are intensively bred, right here in the peace of the British countryside, for painful and terrifying toxicity experiments that are also now proven to entirely fail the search for human treatments and cures. That’s why my campaign with rescued ex-laboratory dog, Betsy, is so important: please help us raise awareness of this appalling state of affairs. Help me ban the factory farming of dogs, with a thorough public scientific hearing to judge the outdated and false claims about human medicine, which continue to fund this terrible cruelty to man’s best friend.”

Says Peter Egan: “With the recent passing of Finns Law Part Two, cruelty to dogs and other animals comes with an up to five years prison sentence. I am appalled, therefore, to learn that thousands of dogs are incarcerated in intensive breeding units, right here in the UK, to prepare them for frightening and painful experiments that can involve being force-fed chemicals for up to 90 days, with no pain relief or anaesthetic. Experts in the scientific community report widely on the failure of these procedures in the search for human treatments and cures, including the Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal and the FDA, which states that nine out of ten new medicines fail to pass clinical trials because animals cannot predict human responses. Please join me and cross-party MPs who are signing EDM 278, in calling for a rigorous public scientific hearing, to ban the outdated and false claims about human medicine which continue to fund this terrible cruelty.”          

Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan are helping to launch new Parliamentary Early Day Motion 278 (EDM) tabled by Dr. Lisa Cameron MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dog Welfare (APDAWG). The EDM calls for the Government to mandate a rigorous public scientific hearing on claims that experiments on dogs, and other animals, can predict the responses of human patients. The hearing will judged by independent experts from the relevant science fields – including clinical research, evolutionary biology, basic research, chaos theory, complexity science, philosophy of science and drug development. Never before has a panel of independent science experts judged a science hearing on animal testing.

The EDM’s called-for science hearing can quickly stop funding for the outdated practice of trying to model humans using animals, and increase funding for state-of-the-art human-based research – such as body-on-a-chip and gene-based medicine – which comes with a proven track record of success.


Please ask your MP to sign the new Parliamentary EDM 278, simply type in your postcode at this link to write to your MP today: http://forlifeonearth.eaction.online

Says Dr. Lisa Camron MP: “I’m delighted to be the primary sponsor for the new Parliamentary EDM 278, calling for a fair and rigorous public scientific hearing on animal experiments. Dogs are man’s best friend, yet thousands of Beagles are bred every year in the UK, for painful toxicity experiments that are today widely reported to be failing the search for human treatments and cures. Please join me in asking the Government to mandate this science hearing: ask your MP to sign EDM 278 to stop the funding of a failed practice and accelerate funding for human-based research, such as body on a chip and gene-based medicine, which comes with a track record of success.” 

Says medical doctor Ray Greek, president of Americans and Europeans for Medical Advancement: “An immense body of empirical evidence has supported the position that animal models offer no predictive value for human response to drugs and disease. But perhaps more importantly, recent developments in evolutionary and developmental biology, genetics, gene regulation, gene expression, and gene networks gained in large part as a result of the Human Genome Project, in addition to advances in understanding complex systems, have significantly increased our understanding of why animals have no predictive value for human response to drugs or the pathophysiology of human diseases.” 

The EDM’s hearing is urgently needed because the Government is currently still under the influence of outdated lobbyists from the animal-based research community, first institutionalised in 1847 by a doctor who went on to reject the Theory of Evolution.

Today, scientists in the wider scientific community, outside the animal-based research sector, openly acknowledge the failure of animal testing in the search for human treatments and cures, these experts include scientists in the pharmaceutical industry; Dr. Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal, who concluded her Editor’s Choice with the following statement: “If research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced.” [1]  The Food and Drug Administration states that 9 out of 10 new medicines fail to pass human trials because animals cannot predict responses in humans; [2] and the US-based National Cancer Institute says cures for cancer have been lost because studies in rodents have been believed. [3]

The medical field against using animal experiments to try and model humans is today led by Drs. Ray Greek and Niall Shanks: their Trans-Species Modelling Theory (TSMT) joins other great science Theories, such as the Theory of Evolution and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, in explaining why something always occurs: in this case TSMT places decades of empirical evidence into the wider context of current understanding of evolutionary biology and complexity science, to explain why 90% of animal-tested drugs fail to pass human/clinical trials. [4]



1.BMJ 2014;348:g3719 available here

2. FDA Issues Advice to Make Earliest Stages Of Clinical Drug Development More Efficient. FDA, June 2006   

3. Gura T: Cancer Models: Systems for identifying new drugs are often faulty. Science. 1997, 278 (5340): 1041-1042.

4. Lumley CE, Walker S Lancaster, Quay, editors, 1990, ‘Clinical Toxicity – Could it have been predicted? Post-marketing experience’, 57–67; Heywood R. Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance for Man.


Daily Mirror Exposé showing the factory farming of laboratory dogs in the UK

Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan’s campaign with rescued laboratory dog Betsy

Quotes against animal testing by scientists working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Drs. Greek and Shanks’ Trans-Species Modeling Theory

Americans and Europeans for Medical Advancement

Patients Campaigning for Cures

The science-based campaign For Life On Earth 

Dr. Jane Goodall celebrates the precedent ruling by a Government Inspector – on ‘national interest medical and scientific grounds’ – enabling Drs. Greek and Shanks to defeat plans by Cambridge University to build a multi-million pound primate laboratory: watch Dr. Goodall’s short film.