Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Animal Defenders International aim to ensure animals are on the political agenda

Posted: 17 September 2010. Updated: 17 September 2010

Animal Defenders International aim to ensure animals are on the political agenda at the party conferences

Animal Defenders International (ADI), the National Anti-Vivisection Society and Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research will be flying the flag for animals at the party conferences this month.

“The next twelve months will be critical for the future of animal protection in the UK. The Coalition Government has some big decisions which will shape how they are perceived in terms of animal protection. This includes the implementation of the new EU Directive on animal experimentation, following through the previous Government’s pledge to ban wild animals in circuses, and whether steps are taken to roll back the hunting ban, “ said Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI.

They have stands at the Liberal Democrats conference in Liverpool (18 – 22 September), Labour in Manchester (26 – 30 September) and Conservatives in Birmingham (3 – 6 October), and will be launching the latest edition of their Political Animals publication which aims to set the parliamentary animal protection agenda.

Animal Circuses

This week the United Kingdom welcomed Tilin the Hamadryas baboon from Bolivia, who was successfully rescued by Animal Defenders International from a circus, after undercover investigations, campaigning and lobbying of the Bolivian Government by ADI brought about a ban on both wild and domestic animals in circuses there.

It is somewhat ironic, that although Tilin has found a wonderful sanctuary home here in the UK, if Tilin had been with a circus here he would still be living in a cage on the back of a lorry. His rescue highlights how far the UK is starting to fall behind on this issue, despite overwhelming public opposition to animals in circuses here.

It is now approaching five years since the Government announced it would ban wild animals in UK circuses. Last year’s exposé by ADI of the beatings of elephants on tour with the Great British Circus (GBC), prompted the government to launch a new public consultation, where 94.5% of the public supported a ban. The country went to the polls with the previous Government promising to ban wild animal acts.

The Coalition Government has promised action on the matter this autumn.

Jan said: “For a decade, there has been overwhelming public support for a UK ban on wild animals in circuses, but we are now lagging behind, as countries like Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Portugal overtake us. There is no better time than now to introduce a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and the public has voted unanimously for this to happen.”

Setting a higher standard: EU Directive on Animal Experimentation

After a 7-year process through the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, the revision of the European Directive on animal experiments concluded in September with the final vote in the plenary session of the European Parliament.

This marks the starting point of the transposition phase, where the new Directive will be introduced into national legislation and UK legislation on animal experiments will be overhauled for the first time in over 25 years.

“The 25-year-old legislation is no longer fit for purpose, as there is no transparency of the authorisation process, no public confidence in the regulations, and animals continue to suffer and die in experiments where non-animal methods are available,” Jan said.

“We will be urging the Government to fulfil its commitment to setting the highest standards of animal protection and it is time to draw a line under cruel and unnecessary animal tests and set the standard for our neighbours in Europe to follow,” Jan said.

Kick animal testing out of the house

“We were heartened to hear from Government recently that they are committed to ending the testing of household products on animals and we will be flagging this issue at Conference to ensure that it is implemented without delay,” said Jan.

“More importantly, we want a commitment from all the parties to work for Europe–wide action to see through the ban on cosmetics testing on animals and for a similar phase out of household product testing. The latest statistics reveal that 5,571 animals were still used in cosmetics tests and there have been attempts to slow down the timetable to implement the ban. In Europe, 1,219 animals were used in household product tests, so these battles are not over yet. It is vital that British MEPs commit to driving forward animal protection in Europe.”

Fur farming in Europe

After exposing the horrific conditions that animals in fur farms in Finland have to endure, ADI has launched a campaign against the fur industry across Europe, campaigning in Finland, France, Italy, Israel and the UK with their Bloody Harvest report and video.

Their 7 month undercover investigation of 30 fur farms exposed the horrific suffering that farmed foxes and minks endure and the organisations is pushing hard for bans around the world.

“Ten years ago, the Labour Government banned fur farming which was heralded as a popular measure protecting thousands of animals from suffering every year. At Conference we will be urging British MEPs to press for measures to end this cruelty across Europe,” Jan said.

Contact for further information:

Phil Buckley, Media Relations Director, Animal Defenders International, 020 7630 3344, 07716 018250,

Animal Defenders International (ADI)

With offices in London and San Francisco, Animal Defenders International (ADI) is a major international campaigning group, lobbying to protect animals on issues such as animals in entertainment and their use in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI involves itself in international animal rescues as well as educational work on animals, conservation and environment. Founded in 1990, ADI has become a major force for animal protection and has succeeded through its undercover investigations in securing legal protection for animals. ADI opposes violence or intimidation whether directed at humans or other animals.

The Lord Dowding Fund (LDF)
Founded in 1974, The Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research is the research wing of Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). The LDF awards grants totaling £300,000 a year to fund humane research across a wide range of fields, including microsurgery, toxicology, breast and lung cancer, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, cot death, cataracts and brain damage. Named after Battle of Britain (WW2) hero Air Chief Marshal Hugh, Lord Dowding, a former President of the NAVS, LDF also supports new and advanced methods of research such as cell culture, biotechnology, brain imaging and computer packages which replace the use of animals in the education of school and university level students.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)
The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), founded in 1875, is the world’s premier group campaigning for an end to cruel and futile experiments on animals. Through its department, the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, NAVS sponsors non-animal scientific and medical research; annual grants awareded are in the region of £300,000 per annum.

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