Cumbria Times
Weekend Edition
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
1:01 AM 15th November 2023

Will Young Calls On The Nation’s Animal Lovers To Sign His Petition Demanding A Ban On Animal Testing

Will Young with his dog Domino
Will Young with his dog Domino
Celebrities have often been known to lend their names to causes. Some do it for the joint publicity potential, while for others, it is clear, they do it for more wholehearted reasons. Chatting with a former Pop Idol winner and all-round talent, Will Young, it is immediately clear that the motivation for his petition to "ban on the use of dogs for testing and research purposes in the UK" is deep-rooted in causes close to his heart.

"I first realised dogs were being tested for science in this country two years ago, when I came across a puppy breeding facility in Cambridgeshire called MBR Acres. There, beagles are bred solely for experimentation, sold off to labs around the UK, or bled out on-site for the whole of their lives with no pain relief. I handcuffed myself to the gates of the lab to bring attention."

As the owner of Domino, Will is very public about his love for dogs and animals in general. As he opens up about his own journey into discovering the true extent of animal testing in the UK, his clear disdain for the current government and their policies is apparent.

However, while he speaks from his heart, he never loses sight of his overall goal. Although he concedes, 'in an ideal world, the cause would be apolitical", he equally indicates, "it has to be when you have the likes of Zac Goldsmith leaving the Tory party, citing their policies on animal welfare." And while he may have hosted a panel on animal experiments at the Labour Party’s 2023 Annual Conference, he believes wholeheartedly that the real root cause of the issue in the UK stems from a lack of education and coverage about the issue.

Although his petition uses the dog as a 'catalyst', his end goal is to see all animal testing end, particularly in a world that has so many alternative processes that are proven to be far more efficient than the Victorian methods that are still practiced. Businesswoman Deborah Meaden knows that there are alternatives to animal testing that still produce safe products and Young knows he is far from alone in fighting this battle, with Chris Packham, Joanna Lumley, and Ricky Gervais all having spoken out on similar issues historically.

Noting that while the issue caused a buzz in the 80s and 90s due to the push for change within the cosmetics industry, the lack of continued attention on the issue has allowed its continuation in other areas of industry, with universities and even the British Heart Foundation connected in ways to organisations that use animals regularly for testing.

In 2022, the number of dogs experimented on in Great Britain was 4,122. Most are used in regulatory procedures for testing the safety of products and devices for human medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. An All-Party Parliamentary Group has acknowledged that 92% of drugs fail in human trials despite being tested on animals. Given the low scientific value of these experiments, combined with major advances in non-animal methods (NAMs), we believe testing on dogs should be banned, in the same way as for Great Apes since 1997.

At his very core, he is reaching out to the millions of animal lovers in the UK. He is simply using his platform to 'communicate that every dog lover needs to know that in the UK they are tested on, bred, and tested for their entire lives. These dogs have no chance of a real life, and their suffering is not even for the benefit of everyone."

Read and sign Will’s petition now via;