Merseyside Animal Rights is a local voluntary run group which campaigns against any form of animal exploitation in the Merseyside area and beyond.

World Day for Animals in Laboratories

We are delighted to be teaming up to co-host this years’ World Day for Animals In Laboratories (WDAIL) with Team Tino Animal Rights www.teamtinoanimalrights.co.uk

Unfortunately the usual march that would take place for WDAIL, which we were looking forward to helping host in Liverpool, has had to be postponed until next year due to the current Covid 19 crisis. However we will continue to highlight the plight of animals in laboratories during this important date in the animal rights movement’s calendar. We have organised an online event, the details of which can be found here https://www.facebook.com/events/1564163427080419/

History

World Day for Animals in Laboratories is over 40 years old. The day was founded by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) in 1979. Throughout the 1980s there were demonstrations and protests to mark World Day by anti-vivisection organizations in the UK and overseas. Among the targets were the Ministry of Defence’s Porton Down laboratory, Cambridge University and Shamrock Farm primate breeder.

In 1987 Oxford University was chosen by Animal Aid as the target for its Blinded by Science campaign and nearly 3000 people held a march and rally. The target was sight deprivation experiments carried out by Colin Blakemore including sewing up the eyes of monkeys and keeping kittens in the dark.

Ten years later in 1997 hundreds took part in the World Day Oxford Liberation Tour – marching around the city centre, then converging on the homes of Blakemore and the head of physiology. The City’s main museums, all the science departments and the science library closed for the day.

One of the main campaigns of the late nineties targeted Hillgrove Farm in Witney, Oxfordshire. When a five mile exclusion zone was thrown around the laboratory cat breeder, national demos went ahead instead in Oxford, against the University’s department of psychology which used cats from Hillgrove, causing traffic chaos. Hillgrove closed down in 1999.

In 2004, Speak – the Voice for the Animals was founded in response to a new animal research facility being built by Oxford University. Protests were held regularly, including for World Day, and construction of the new facility ground to a halt for 16 months. It eventually opened in November 2008 but the Speak campaign went on and in 2013 World Day returned to Oxford for a noisy march against animal experiments there.

Since then the annual WDAIL march has been hosted in various cities around the U.K. including Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford again in 2019. Liverpool will be hosting the WDAIL march in 2021 – do you know a group that might like to host WDAIL 2022? Get in touch!

More information on World Day can be found on the World Day website wdail.uk and facebook page www.facebook.com/WDAILUK/