Celebrities are showing their support for an end to animal testing by joining an on-line virtual protest. Comedian Ricky Gervais, actress Joanna Lumley and rockers Brian May and Chrissie Hynde, are joining tens of thousands of people taking part in the virtual march to Brussels where the 20-year old law on animal experiments is up for review by politicians.

‘Mini-me’ virtual characters of Ricky, Joanna, Chrissie and Brian appear in the campaign cheering on the thousands of marchers from across the EU and they hope to persuade thousands more to take part at www.makeanimaltestinghistory.org/march.

More than 12 million animals such as rabbits, hamsters, monkeys, cats and dogs, are used in experiments in Europe each year. Many of the experiments can cause physical and mental distress to the animals. Animal lovers across the UK and Europe are taking to cyber-space to demonstrate support for improvements to the 20-year old law on animal experiments. Campaigners want greater restrictions on what the animals can endure, as well as a massive drive to develop non-animal alternative tests to ultimately replace the use of animals altogether with humane, 21st-century methods.

The virtual march at www.MakeAnimalTestingHistory.org/march was launched by the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, Four Paws and The Humane Society International.

Ricky Gervais says: "When I was asked if I’d like to back the campaign to Make Animal Testing History I said “Yes”, immediately, as it is a cause that I am very, very passionate about. When they said it involved a march, I said forget it. But when they said it was a virtual march and I would have to do very little except show my support and give a quote, I jumped at the chance. On a serious note, we need EU politicians to vote for more humane science. With all the non-animal techniques available now and in the future, we really don’t need to hurt animals to make medical progress."

Joanna Lumley OBE, said: "Join me fabulous walkers, in showing how much we care for the feelings of our fellow creatures, and how soon we long for all animal testing to become a thing of the past. Tell everyone you know how easy it is to sign up, pack some sandwiches and, as Nancy Sinatra so succinctly put it, “Start walking!!!”

Queen guitarist Brian May CBE said: “Humans do not have the right to abuse other animals in any way whatsoever. What on Earth makes us think we are that important? If we want to call ourselves civilised, a change is long overdue. No animal should ever be subjected to indignity or discomfort, far less, a painful death, in the name of science. Let’s make this despicable behaviour History.”

Chrissie Hynde said: “Animal experimentation just doesn’t make sense in the 21st century. It causes suffering to millions of animals and it’s hardly cutting-edge science. Thousands of people are cyber-marching right now to Make Animal Testing History and I’m right there with them cheering them on. Let’s stop filling our laboratories with monkeys and mice and use modern alternative research methods instead. See you on the march!”

Citizens from across Europe are being invited to get e-active by signing an online pledge of support to Make Animal Testing History and creating their own personalised character to join the mass cyber parade through Brussels towards the European parliament. The law will be debated during the coming months by politicians across Europe.

Click here to find out more and take part.

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