Lab dogs need our help says Peter Egan | TeamDogs

Lab dogs need our help says Peter Egan

The actor has teamed up with Ricky Gervais to support a new petition against animal testing.

Liz Connor

Posted 54d ago

Much loved British actor Peter Egan is one of the UK’s biggest and most vocal animal lovers. The thespian, known for his roles in 'Ever Decreasing Circles' and 'Downton Abbey', is a Vice President of the RSPCA and a tireless campaigner for animal rights. 

Right now he’s urging dog lovers to sign a petition he’s launched with Ricky Gervais to change the law, so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. 

Millions of lab animals - including mice, rats, dogs, rabbits and fish - are at risk of suffering pain and distress from scientific procedures, and animals are often put down after testing.

Caption: Peter Egan is campaigning for laboratory animals (Alamy)

If laboratory animals were protected by the act, Egan says it would be illegal to make them victims of what the law deems 'unnecessary suffering'. “I think people are totally unaware of the suffering that’s caused to lab animals,” says the actor. “I'm completely opposed to animal modelling for human diseases because it's very cruel, it's very misleading, and it's a waste of money.” The failure rate for drugs that have been tested on animals, once trialled with humans, is thought to be between 90% and 94%.

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One high-profile person who has thrown his support behind the petition is comedian Ricky Gervais. The funnyman, who frequently speaks about animal rights, has teamed up with Egan to urge the government to change the law. “I wish more people were as committed and as honest as Ricky is,” says Egan. “He walks the walk and talks the talk. He’s an amazingly bright and committed man.

He adds that Ricky’s “phenomenal” following has been a big driver for getting over 64,000 signatures on the petition so far.

Comedian Ricky Gervais is supporting the campaign (Alamy)

“I think if people are in doubt, they should sign the petition, because it’s asking to have a debate about the cruelty,” Egan continues. “The next stage will be an independent, peer-reviewed debate from scientists, and writing a paper on whether animal testing works.

“There is nothing better than getting information,” he stresses. “I think it is vital for the public to be curious enough to want to understand what happens.”

You can sign the petition here.

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