Parliament logo
Campaign and petition email responses | Animal Testing - publish the consultation on repealing section 24

Campaign and petition email responses

Animal Testing - publish the consultation on repealing section 24

Animal welfare is a devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the SNP takes it extremely seriously. We have been vocal in addressing concerns in this area at a UK level and committed in the Scottish Government’s Program for Government to take steps to strengthen animal welfare legislation. 


Animal testing is reserved to the UK Government with the Home Office designated as in charge of regulating animal experimentation, with such procedures approved for scientific and educational purposes on live animals. 


Animals have the ability to feel love, pain, joy, fear, loneliness, and more. They are full of emotions and interests, desire freedom, and want to live. Not incarceration, experimentation, and death.


There is enough evidence to show there are better, more accurate and humane methods than resorting to testing on animals.


The SNP has consistently called for a public scientific hearing on animal experiments, with Dr Lisa Cameron MP launching EDM 175 supported by Allan Dorans MP and sponsored by 29 SNP MPs.


EDM 223 on Animal-free science and animal tests was also sponsored by Alison Thewliss MP and 3 SNP MPs.


EDM 278 on Public scientific hearing on animal experiments was tabled by Dr Lisa Cameron MP and was sponsored by 3 SNP MPs and supported by 20 SNP MPs.


The SNP continue to pressure the UK Government into recognising the ethical and welfare rights of lab animals to prevent unnecessary suffering and violations of their natural rights to sentience.


The SNP continue to encourage the UK Government to look to the European Union which has put itself in the 21st century, by moving away from cruel experiments on animals and using cutting-edge replacements – as evidenced by the European Parliament, which voted in favour of developing an action plan to phase animals out of EU science and regulation.  
During a Westminster Hall Debate on Human-specific Medical Research Techniques on the 4th of July 2023:


SNP Health and Social Care spokesperson Martyn Day MP who is also APPG Chair on human-relevant science raised how 3 million procedures involving animals took place across the UK in 2021 with many animals wastefully culled without even being used in procedures, how human-relevant techniques are more appropriate for medicines using super-computers, AI, organ-on-a-chip technology and advanced use of human cells and tissues, alongside developing gene-based medicine. Not only would these end animal suffering, but produce more effective and faster solutions for human, it would be better for the economy too.


SNP Education, Science, Innovation and Technology spokesperson Carol Monaghan MP said: “Scotland is a nation of animal lovers. The use of live animals for scientific purposes has long been a source of discomfort...On many occasions, the Government have spoken about their ambition to become a “science and technology superpower”; I believe we can also be a superpower in animal rights. Things are out of date and have not moved as quickly as technology. It is in all our interests, be it from the point of view of animal cruelty or of effectiveness, to prioritise the move away from animal testing towards a more humane framework for medical research. We need to phase out the use of animal testing in scientific research, and to develop human-specific new approach methodologies.”


The SNP want the UK Government to enact strengthened animal welfare legislation, with tougher punishment regimes for abuses of animals, mandate a rigorous, public, scientific hearing on animal testing, and encourage alternatives. We will work with the UK Gov to ensure animal welfare legislation for all animals domesticated and wild is of the highest standards. 


The UK Government should, as a matter of course, publish consultation results as part of transparent government. This is especially true for an issue as emotive as this one.

Parliament logo

@StewartMcDonald on Twitter