Local Green joins march for World Day for Animals in Laboratories
Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party joined other Greens to march with
hundreds of people in Oxford to mark World Day for Animals in Laboratories. World Day for
Animals in Laboratories on April 24th is a UN recognised date to highlight the millions of
animals each year who suffer and die behind the walls of laboratories.
The event on Saturday April 27th started with a rally and then a march through the centre of Oxford to the Biomedical Sciences Building in Oxford University where animal testing is carried out and over 150,000 animals suffer and die in experiments every year, far more than any other university. They are among the 115 million animals worldwide that are killed after undergoing often painful and prolonged procedures. The demonstration called for an end to all animal experiments.
The latest Home Office statistics, revealed for 2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) over 3.7 million animals were used in experiments in the UK. This included 2,679,763 mice and 271,535 rats as well as cats, dogs, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, monkeys and many others. 50% of all animal experiments carried out in the UK take place in universities; much of it publicly funded.
Vivisection not only causes great suffering to animals but is not necessary as the results from vivisection are inaccurate because of the vast differences of non-human-animals and humans anatomically, physiologically and pathologically. There are now more accurate ways of performing medical research that does not involve animals including using human cells and tissues and computer modeling.
Vivisection is also responsible for human suffering as side effects from medical drugs deemed safe because they passed animal tests are responsible for thousands of deaths each year.
“Vivisection causes great suffering to millions of animals” said Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party “And it unnecessary too as medical research can now be carried out that does not involve testing on animals. If the resources spent on animal testing were spent on medical research that did not involve vivisection, not only would the animals be free from suffering but it is likely that medical research would advance and cures for diseases would be found more quickly” he added.
Whilst the death of Mrs Thatcher is sad for her friends and family, it should be remembered that as
PM, Mrs Thatcher caused great damage to this country. Industries destroyed and communities
pushed into poverty as a minority became very rich at the expense of the majority. There was
also the promotion of greed and selfishness as virtues with pronouncements that there is no
such thing as society.
And the effects are being felt today as the financial deregulation she supported caused the financial crash used as an excuse for drastic cuts of services for the most vulnerable. Selling of council houses causing a lack of housing and increased rents, privatisation of utilities causing increased bills and a more unequal country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Local Green joins demonstration against the Grand National
Demonstration outside Channel 4, Mark Dawes is on the far left.
Mark Dawes from Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party joined the demonstration outside
Channel 4 against the Grand National as the race took place on Saturday April 6th. Channel 4
support the Grand National by broadcasting the race.
The demonstration was organised by the animal rights organisation Animal Aid and the names of the 23 horses that have died in the Grand National since 1989 were read out. Whilst, fortunately, there were no fatalities in this year’s race, out of the 93 runners entered into the three races on the Grand National course this year, two horses died, several fell, and a large number pulled up – some possibly injured. The course, therefore, still presents a potentially lethal challenge to horses. The Grand National is still five times more lethal to horses than other jump races with the last two decades being the most dangerous in the race’s history.
“It is time this cruel race was ended” said Mark Dawes of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party, “The suffering of animals should not be a source of entertainment”.
“Jockey Katie Walsh’s comments that they are only horses and it would be worse if jockey’s lost their lives completely misses the point. Jockeys make the choice to compete in the Grand National, the horses do not – they are the innocent victims” he added.
Local shops close after Tesco opens
Sadly, it should come as no surprise that Budgens and Poppies bakery have closed since the
Tesco megastore opened in Highams Park. The opening of new supermarkets invariably leads to
the closure of smaller local shops. This leads to less choice for people, as supermarkets
monopolise shopping: there are now over ten Tesco stores in Waltham Forest alone.
There are also problems with the way supermarkets treat farmers as they abuse their powerful position to pressure farmers to sell their produce at unfair prices, and they have a negative effect on the environment, encouraging more car use and waste of food. The recent horse meat scandal with food chains all over Europe showed how far supermarkets’ business model is away from locally produced, sustainable food.
The Green Party said in the past when the Tesco was being proposed that the choice for Highams Park was whether it is an area with a thriving range of shops on the streets or just one large Tesco. And unfortunately it looks as if it will be the latter.
Greens comment on horse meat scandal
The scandal of horse meat being substituted for beef goes beyond mislabelling or alleged
criminal activity but shows how the whole food system is broken. The big food companies and
supermarkets, in seeking to provide cheap food, have cut their costs to the absolute minimum.
This drive to “cheap at all costs” food has led to a long chain of suppliers across Europe,
so that supermarkets do not even know what is in the products they sell! This has also led to
cruel factory farming, which not only causes suffering to animals but has health implications
for the consumer too.
There has also been a lack regulation as the Government ideologically sees regulation as “red tape” hindering profits for the wealthy rather for the protection of people from unscrupulous companies seeking profit before the welfare of people.
We need to move urgently towards a more local food system where there is a visible, tangible connection between consumers and food producers. We also need better education on cooking in schools so people learn how to cook healthy, nutritious and cheap meals without resorting to processed ready meals, where the problems have occurred. And if people really want to avoid horse meat, the safest way is to avoid meat altogether!
Take Foie Gras off the menu
From this year foie gras will no longer be served in the House of Lords, a move backed
by a number of peers because of the cruelty involved in its production. This follows
agriculture minister David Heath urging consumers to avoid foie gras due to the inhumane
production methods. Foie gras is produced by force feeding ducks and geese and is so cruel
that production of foie gras has been banned in the UK.
It is very disappointing that the Provender restaurant in Wanstead still serves foie gras and is supporting this cruel industry. A good New Year’s resolution for Provender would be to show compassion and take this cruel product off its menu.