Doctors in the UK are turning to crowdfunding to raise money to buy equipment and supplies they say are needed to help save animals from veterinary euthanasia, such as gloves, a microscope and other diagnostic tools.
In some cases, doctors are selling their pets to pay for the items, such a $1,000 set of gloves, to be used in animal tests.
“The UK is one of the few countries that does not have legislation allowing the export of non-human primates to other countries for medical testing,” said Dr. Tania M. O’Reilly, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
“This is an important issue and I’m hoping that the UK will be one of a number of countries that do allow the export to countries like Vietnam, where they have been doing it for years, to allow this type of research.”
According to the BBC, animal rights group Cage released a statement on Thursday saying that it “strongly opposes” the UK’s new laws on veterinary euthanasis, and that it would use the funds raised to “fund the legal defence of the animals” and “reform the current system of animal testing” and to help veterinarians and animal welfare organizations “fight against the euthanasia of these animals.”
Veterinarians, animal welfare groups, and veterinary surgeons have all said they are appalled by the proposed legislation.
“Vets have been fighting for this for years,” said Fiona Shaw, an associate professor of veterinary medicine at Newcastle University, who specializes in animal welfare and animal medicine.
It’s like they’re just selling off animals.
It really is.”
“I just feel like it’s really, really unfair, and it’s something that needs to stop,” Shaw said.
Animal activists have called for the UK government to adopt the same laws in the US, where the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Nurses Association, and American Veterinary Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have all endorsed a boycott of veterinary tests in the country.
“There are thousands of animals that could be saved if we had the laws in place here,” Shaw told Newsweek.
“If they have the laws, I think it’s a no-brainer.”
A spokesperson for the Animal Aid charity, which works to protect animals from cruelty, said that the organization has spoken to vets in Britain and Australia who say they are being forced to sell their animals for money, and are concerned that the legislation will be used to force them to sell pets for profit.
“We are worried that this is a thinly veiled attempt by the UK to force vets to sell animals for profit,” the spokesperson said.
“These animal rights activists are trying to pressure vets into doing animal tests in order to make more money and make more profit out of the animal welfare charities they work for.”