The campaign, which launched in July, last year, is calling on the UK Government to end the use of dogs and cats in experiments.
Government statistics show that 3,214 dogs suffered in tests in Great Britain in 2012 – a 6% increase for dogs on the previous year.
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, internal bleeding and organ damage, seizures – even death. They are killed at the end of the experiment.
Victoria said: “I have met thousands of wonderful dogs throughout my career and it is heart-breaking to think that dogs are still suffering in experiments. Dogs are our best friends and deserve to experience companionship, the excitement of going for a walk and the comfort and safety of a loving home. It is truly saddening that, in the UK, thousands of dogs are born to suffer and die inside laboratories. I know just how varied and wonderful the canine character can be and how much dogs enrich our lives. That is why I am supporting the BUAV Our Best Friends campaign. Please join me and get involved to put an end to the use of dogs in research in the UK.”
Chief Executive of the BUAV, Michelle Thew, said: "We are delighted that Victoria has chosen to join our campaign to end the terrible suffering. Millions of families throughout the UK share their homes and lives with cats and dogs and will be shocked to learn that thousands of them are used every year in experiments. We call on the Government to end the use of our best friends in research.
Jilly Cooper, Kimberly Wyatt and Chris Packham all posed with their own dogs for portraits to raise awareness for the campaign. Other high-profile supporters calling for an end to these experiments include Ricky Gervais, Helen Skelton, Kirsty Gallacher, Greg Rutherford, Ann Widdecombe, Paul O'Grady, Dave Spikey, Mary McCartney and Wendy Turner Webster.
Find out more here.