British Airways announced today that they have capitulated to the demands of a small group of animal rights extremists and will no longer carry laboratory animals. These animals –usually genetically engineered mice- are essential in the development of treatments and cures for diseases such as cancer, which more than one in three people will develop over their lifetime. The decision by British Airways illustrates that the health and happiness of their passengers and their families is not a priority, mice are.
Medical Advancement Depends on Animal Research
There are millions of people alive today and free from suffering thanks to animal research in life sciences. For example, cure rates for cancer have doubled in the last forty years, an achievement which simply would not have been possible without laboratory animals. Further, in the 1960s, only a quarter of children with cancer survived to adulthood and now, as a direct result of animal research, more than three quarters of children survive cancer. The list is endless and arguably every medical achievement in the 20th century has relied on the use of animals in some way, according to the British Royal Society (who act as scientific advisers to the government).
Scientists Take Animal Welfare Seriously
Strict legislation governs the use of animals in experiments so that suffering is reduced to a minimum at all stages, including during transportation. Animals are never used in research unnecessarily and it is actually a legal requirement not to use animals if there is an alternative. However, it is also a legal requirement that drugs are tested on animals before they’re given to patients, so preventing or stalling animal research stops life-saving treatments from reaching those who desperately need them.
British Airways Are Delaying Vital Research
British Airways have allowed themselves to be intimidated by a few extremists who have convinced them that passengers will boycott an airline that ‘supports animal suffering’. Our flagship airline should consider the millions of people in the UK currently suffering from cancer and other life-threatening or debilitating conditions. The cowardly actions of British Airways will delay vital research, thus preventing new therapies from being developed that have the potential to reduce human suffering and save lives.
Passengers SHOULD Boycott BA
Rather than be concerned about the views of a handful of extremists, British Airways should be more concerned about the views of their passengers. With cancer affecting one in three people, there are very few whose lives have not been scarred by it, not to mention the countless other illnesses and diseases researchers are trying to prevent and cure. Our health and the health of our loved ones depend on the efforts of research scientists in this country, who work tirelessly to develop effective life-extending and life-saving drugs, which sometimes necessitates animal research.