TWO Malvern women held a demonstration outside Worcester Racecourse over the weekend to urge those taking part in Cancer Research’s Race for Life to give their support to medical charities which don’t experiment on animals.
Roberta Balfour and Pauline Burgess joined campaigners dressed as animals on Saturday and Sunday to hold placards outside the event as well as handing out leaflets.
Ronald Lee, communications officer for Worcester Vegan Action, who supported the demonstration, said: “Cancer Research UK are huge funders of cruel experiments on animals.
“Apart from the cruelty and killing involved, there are serious questions about the effectiveness of such experiments, as other animals react differently to humans.
“There was a lot of sympathy from people attending the Race for Life for the demonstratotion and many were shocked to hear that CRUK supports animal testing.”
In response a statement from Dr Aine McCarty, senior communications officer at Cancer Research UK, said the charity carries out a great deal of research without using animals.
However, she stressed animal research remains essential if the charity is to understand, prevent and cure the disease.
“This research is not undertaken lightly and is governed by strict laws in the UK,” she added.
“Cancer Research UK only carries out research involving animals when there is no alternative.
“Thanks to the work of Cancer Research UK and other organisations, cancer survival has doubled over the past forty years.
“This achievement would not have been possible without animal research, which has furthered our understanding of the disease, and helped us to discover, develop and test life-saving treatments.
“All animals involved in our research are under the supervision of vets and trained animal technicians, and they are checked daily for health problems.
“We also make sure the conditions that animals are kept in meet their needs and that they’re being cared for correctly.”