In the UK, around 22 million people share their homes with at least one companion animal. Yet, despite being a nation renowned for our love of animals, across the country animals continue to suffer and die in laboratories.
The BUAV wants the next Parliament to be full of MPs who are seriously committed to bringing about meaningful and long lasting change to address the appalling cruelty inflicted on millions of animals every year in experiments.
That is why we launched Vote Cruelty Free. The Vote Cruelty Free campaign has asked candidates to support six pledges that would make a difference for animals in laboratories. The pledges include a ban on experiments on cats and dogs, an end to the import of monkeys for use in laboratories and an end to the secrecy surrounding animal experiments. Over 250 candidates have already signed up, including representatives from all the major parties - Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, UKIP, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Alliance.
Here are 10 good reasons why you should visit www.votecrueltyfree.com and consider voting for those who cannot vote for themselves...
1) Animals cannot vote but we can
Animals cannot vote, which is why it is so important that we use our vote to speak out on their behalf to stop the appalling suffering they are subjected to in experiments. In 2013 alone, over 4 million animals were used in research in the UK, including over 100 cats and over 3,500 dogs.
2) Opposing animal experiments puts you in agreement with some of the world's great thinkers
Some of the world's most renowned intellectuals have voiced their opposition to animal experiments. Voting Cruelty Free puts you in the company of such esteemed luminaries as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Leonardo da Vinci, Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln and Leo Tolstoy.
3) The founder of the British movement campaigning against animal experiments was just as passionate about people
Frances Power Cobbe, who founded the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898, was also an acclaimed writer and a formidable social reformer and women's rights campaigner.
4) Animals are good for your health
Research has shown that living with animals provides many health benefits. Studies have found that people who share their homes with animals are less likely to suffer from depression or stress. Animals help lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety and boost our immune system.
5) Cruelty-free products are on the rise
With over 600 companies certified with the Leaping Bunny logo, the globally recognised standard for cosmetics and household products which demonstrate a genuine commitment to not testing on animals, it has never been easier to buy cruelty-free make-up, toiletries and household cleaners on the high street.
6) Animals and humans are different
Using animals as substitutes for people when studying human diseases is ineffective and expensive. Using animals to test human drugs is predictive of human reactions only half the time on average. We believe you might as well instead pay someone to sit in a room and toss a coin.
7) Alternatives to animal testing exist
There is a wide range of non-animal research techniques that, as well as being a more humane approach to science can also be cheaper, quicker and more effective. These include human cell, tissue and organ cultures, genetic and molecular investigations, clinical and epidemiological studies, and computer-based methods.
8) Animal testing is morally wrong
A recent report by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics backed by over one hundred and fifty academics, intellectuals, and writers describes animal experiments as morally 'unthinkable.' The report finds that in terms of harm, pain, suffering, and death, animal experiments constitutes one of the major moral issues of our time.
9) Animals improve your social life...and can help you find love
According to behavioural scientists, living with animals has proven to help ease people out of social isolation or shyness. Animals are a great ice breaker and conversation starter. On dating apps such as Tinder, studies show that users respond better to people who are taking care of animals in their pictures.
10) Voting Cruelty Free? Then you're in great company.
Many high profile public figures from the world of entertainment have shown their support for campaigns against animal experiments. Cruelty Free International celebrity supporters include Ricky Gervais, Sir Paul McCartney, Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones and Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.votecrueltyfree.org to enter your postcode and find out how all the candidates in your area have responded. Remember, animals cannot vote and someone needs to speak up for them. Will that someone be you?