Simon Cowell and a team of celebrities have been photographed with their companion dogs by world renowned portrait photographer, Rankin, to launch a global campaign by Cruelty Free International to end the use of dogs in experiments.
Simon was joined by Squiddly, Diddly and Freddie in Rankin’s London studio to tell the world that dogs do not belong in laboratories.
Simon stated: “I have always loved dogs but had no idea how much happiness they would bring to my life. Squiddly, Diddly and, now, Freddie are hugely important members of my family – and even the thought of any dog being mistreated sickens me. That’s why I’m supporting Cruelty Free International – to stop dogs being used for experiments in laboratories around the world. No dog should be treated in such a way. After all, they are man’s (and woman’s) best friend.”
Michelle Thew, CEO, Cruelty Free International said: “We are thrilled to have Simon’s support for our global campaign to end experiments on dogs. There are strong ethical and scientific reasons against using dogs in research. Dogs are trusting and forgiving yet they are being betrayed in their thousands by humans, the very ones they look to for affection and reassurance.”
Every year, thousands of dogs suffer in cruel experiments across the world. In the US, 59,358 dogs were used in experiments in 2014. The top five states using dogs were Ohio (5,252), New Jersey (5,035), Michigan (4,694), Wisconsin (4,894) and Minnesota (3,350).
Beagles are the most commonly used breed. They are mainly subjected to poisoning tests (known as toxicity testing) in which they are force fed, forced to inhale or injected with drugs and chemicals to see what dose will sicken or kill them. Even industrial chemicals and agricultural products such as pesticides and weed-killers can be tested.
The Cruelty Free International campaign places the use of dogs in experiments on the global political and public agenda; raising public awareness and persuading governments, regulators and key decision-makers to end the use of dogs in testing.