There really is no excuse for treating animals in the way shown in the Animal Aid video below. I continue to wonder how this country is considered a nation of animal lovers when animals are kept in such conditions and treated so badly.
This Bonfire Night, please spare a thought for the animals and birds who may be terrified by the deafening crashes and blinding flashes. Traumatised dogs are rushed to vets for emergency treatment; sheep can spontaneously abort; horses gallop into fences; and rabbits have been known to die from the shock.
We can minimise the impact by keeping cats and dogs indoors from the afternoon onwards, and bringing rabbits and guinea pigs inside as well (or at least covering their home with a thick blanket to muffle the noise). Also, please check that hedgehogs and other wild animals have not made a home in your bonfire before you light it.
Animal Aid believes that – for the sake of all animals – fireworks should be sold only to organisers of public events and not to individuals wishing to set them off in their gardens or in the street. A ban on sales to the general public would also prevent the terrible cruelties reported every year of vicious individuals deliberately harming animals with fireworks.
Huge sums of money have been donated in recent weeks to motor neurone disease charities through the ice bucket challenge craze. Animal Aid is urging people to resist enriching these charities by dowsing themselves in iced water or challenging others to do so.
Instead, we are challenging the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the main beneficiary of the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) ice bucket phenomenon in this country, to stop funding cruelly invasive animal tests. Such tests include those using genetically modified mice bred to suffer severe motor impairment and muscle weakness.
Experiments using GM mice and other animals can in no way adequately replicate the complexities of ALS in humans, which are significantly affected by specific genetic traits, such as those relating to ethnic and geographic variables.
GM mouse experiments have been criticised in the scientific literature for the ‘poor correlation’ between data generated in labs from animal ‘models’ and the clinical reality. That so many drugs have ‘succeeded’ in animal tests but have gone on to fail in human clinical trials is evidence that a more rational research strategy is long overdue.
The devastating effects of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, which are almost entirely unique to humans, can be tackled – on the research front – only by cutting-edge, human based technologies and studies. It is these that are directly relevant to patients.