Tom Holder to Debate on the BBC’s Big Questions

Tom Holder, founder of Speaking of Research, will debate the question “Is Animal Testing Ever Justified?” on the BBC1’s The Big Questions. The show is live on Sunday at 10am GMT (BBC1 – UK Channel).

The panellists speaking on the show, hosted by Nicky Campbell, include –
Supporting animal research:
– Tom Holder, founder of SR
– Prof. John Stein, an Oxford University Neuroscientist who was a scientific advisor to the student movement Pro-Test

Those against include:
– Peter Tatchell, human rights campagner
– Kailah Eglington, Chief Executive of the Dr. Hadwen Trust
– Alistir Currie, from PETA

Furthermore, there will be a selection of religious figures (who are mainly there is discuss the other question of the direction of the Church of England and Polytheism).

This debate coincides with the recent problems that Britain is having in transporting animals in and out of the country.

Speaking of Research.

3 responses to “Tom Holder to Debate on the BBC’s Big Questions

  1. Hi Emma,

    Firstly, they did not talk about cosmetic testing because it does not go on in the UK – cosmetic testing on animals was banned in 1998. Household products are a minutia of total research – in 2010 there was only 24 animals involved in safety tests on household products.

    John Stein’s own research uses UK bred animals (as most researchers do) however he pointed out that animals which are imported (mainly mice) may now end up suffering worse conditions in other countries.

    British animal welfare laws in laboratories are the strictest in the world – have you ever been round a lab?

    Tom Holder

  2. I notice on this programme the animal testing debate only related to animals used in medical research. No one discussed the extensive use of animals used in cosmetic and household product testing. The majority of the public disagree with animals being used for these types of experiments yet it was not even mentioned. I found that rather disappointing to be honest. I wonder what Tom Holder feels about animals being used for unnecessary cosmetic testing and household products – and his fellow researchers? Also Prof John Stein said he did not transport animals for research and his test subjects were all bred here. But then he made reference to animals being blocked from getting in the country. Why would that be an issue if he does not need to transport animals for research himself? Whilst I do not agree with some animal right groups I am certainly on the side of working towards a world where animals are not used for testing – for cosmetics and household products this should be now – given that there is a very clear alternative and many companies are choosing to make the ethical choice in line with consumer demand. On the medicine front – nothing is going to get done until both sides of the debate work out a way to liase and interact. More laws need to be in place to protect laboratory animals as well – despite what the research industry say there are still awful cases of abuse in this country and others and the home office does not protect animals as it should with tip offs before the visits. This has not changed in recent times either. If animals are going to be used for testing they should be at least allowed veterinary care and some form of compassion from those responsible for them. I agree with the progression of science and I have compassion for my fellow humans but I also believe we should care for sentient life. We need to find a way to move away from animal testing during our lifetime and fund more research into alternatives – not just have those involved in vivisection making insincere references to working towards it when they don’t appear to be able to evidence doing that.

  3. Ruth Macdonald

    When animal activists talk of suffering, they should be made to watch people with motor neurone disease during their last months. My brother-in-law lived for just over a year after his diagnosis and I only hope that research on animals comes up with a cure for this dreadful disease.I only hope none of these people ever have to suffer as he did.