One of Britain’s most beloved authors, Jilly Cooper, has posed with one of her two pet greyhounds in support of Our Best Friends, a BUAV campaign calling on the Government to end the use of dogs and cats in experiments.

Jilly Cooper supporting the BUAV's Our Best Friends campaign

Jilly said: “My two greyhounds truly are my best friends and I adore sharing my home with them and enjoy our adventures together. It is utterly appalling to hear about the high numbers of dogs still used in experiments in the UK who never experience the love of a family or the joy of playing in a park. I am supporting the BUAV’s Our Best Friends campaign to call on the UK government to ban this hideous experimentation on dogs and cats and I urge you please to do the same.”

In 2012, 3,214 dogs and puppies suffered in 4,843 tests in Great Britain. This is a 6% increase in the number of dogs used compared to the previous year (2,865 in 2011), and a rise of 12% in the number of experiments carried out (4,552 in 2011).

Most experiments carried out on dogs are for toxicity testing. The dogs may be injected with or force fed drugs and chemicals and then observed for signs of adverse (toxic) effects including vomiting, diarrhoea, internal bleeding and organ damage, seizures, paralysis – even death. They are killed at the end of the experiment.

The BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, said: “Over 11 million families in the UK share their home with either a dog, or a cat yet these much loved animals are still being used in cruel and unnecessary tests. We thank Jilly for her support and urge the public to join our campaign to end these experiments. Please sign our petition today and help us consign this cruelty to history.”

Other celebrities who have backed the campaign include Ricky Gervais, Kimberly Wyatt, Helen Skelton, Dave Spikey, Wendy Turner Webster and Chris Packham.

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