The cameraman and I were pretty surprised when Professor Peter Janssen greeted us at Leuven university hospital reception. We were expecting someone… well we weren’t expecting Peter. On one hand he’s a relaxed straight-talking family man, on the other he has already published a long list of neurological research alongside some heavy-duty medical qualifications and awards.
Neil Parish MP talks through the tough policy choices during the revision of the lab animal legislation
We recently interviewed Neil Parish MP, the first reading rapporteur for the revision of law protecting lab animals. In our first video, Neil expressed the challenges he faced during this review to find the right balance between helping science advance, while protecting animals as much as possible.
57,000 people across The Netherlands have signed a partition to ban research and testing on cats and dogs. It would be interesting to know how many of these citizens were also loving pet owners? It’s an important question because over the past decade, the market for medical healthcare for pets has grown dramatically in comparison to healthcare for humans.
Animal testing and research dates back to the writings of the Greeks in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, with Aristotle and Erasistratus among the first to perform experiments on living animals. Avenzoar, an Arabic physician in 12th-century Moorish Spain who practiced dissection, introduced animal testing as an experimental method of testing surgical procedures before applying them to human patients.
Not being an expert in animal research and testing, it’s a foreign concept to me that a vet would be working at an animal research and development facility for a pharmaceutical company. But of course who better to be ensuring the welfare of lab animals? I recently spoke with the global animal welfare officer of a large pharmaceutical company, who has such a job.