Help us replace unreliable animal tests with better, human-relevant science

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In Rat Trap, our Research Director, Dr Pandora Pound ends the debate about animal research once and for all. She shows that, far from being a necessary evil, it is one of the most important and urgent scientific issues of our time.

Animal research harms patients and holds back medical progress. Superior technologies based on human biology could transform medicine if not for the iron grip of animal research.

Rat Trap is dynamite! It blows the lid off decades of dogma.

Read it, share it, and help speed the revolution that will benefit us all

YOU can help promote Rat Trap:
  • Buy the paperback or e-book
  • Take an information sheet to your local bookshops and libraries
  • Send a press release to any appropriate contacts
  • Distribute our leaflet to friends and family
  • Send Rat Trap to your MP and let us know, to avoid duplication. The following MPs already have a copy: Rosena Allin-Khan, Fleur Anderson, Andrew Bridgen, Ruth Cadbury, Dr Lisa Cameron, Maria Caulfield, Brendan Clarke-Smith, Elliot Colburn, Yvette Cooper, Geoffrey Cox, Virginia Crosbie, Tracey Crouch, David T C Davies, Martyn Day, Tan Dhesi, Richard Drax, Sir James Duddridge, George Eustice, George Galloway, Patricia Gibson, Andrew Griffith, Robert Halfon, James Heappey, Wera Hobhouse, Lindsay Hoyle, Darren Jones, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Caroline Lucas, Anthony Mangnall, Kerry McCarthy, John McDonnell, Navendu Mishra, Grahame Morris, Caroline Nokes, Sarah Olney, Chi Onwurah, Andrew Selous, David Simmons, Andy Slaughter, Jeff Smith, Wes Streeting, Sir Desmond Swayne and James Wild. Include a cover letter, using our template if you need inspiration
  • Write a review on Amazon, Goodreads or Troubador
  • Share these great reviews from Professor Thomas Hartung, Animal Aid and Animal Free Research UK (final page) and this great interview with Professor Marc Bekoff
  • See more reviews, articles and interviews here - and please share them!

Latest News

Lush Prize 2024 Major Science Collaboration Award winner – COLAAB

Safer Medicines Trust is part of the Coalition to Illuminate and Address Animal Methods Bias, otherwise known as COLAAB, so we were delighted when COLAAB was recently recognised for its important work with a Lush Prize in the category of Major Science Collaboration!

COLAAB is an international coalition of researchers and advocates from a range of organisations, charities and universities worldwide. It was formed in 2022 following a workshop to discuss how the bias towards using animal methods plays out within scientific publishing. Workshop attendees from publishing, academia, industry, government, and non-governmental organisations discussed this phenomenon and the impact it could have on scientists’ research and their careers. Two years later, COLAAB held another workshop, this one to explore the issue of bias in reviews of academic funding proposals.

There has long been anecdotal evidence of a bias towards using animals within academia. But what COLAAB has done is two things. First, and importantly, it has named the phenomenon. Being able to talk about ‘animal methods bias’ makes the issue much easier to discuss and helps people recognise it and – crucially – challenge it when it arises. Second, the coalition is collecting empirical evidence about how this bias plays out and how it affects scientists’ ability to get their studies published if they do not use animals. Not content with anecdote, COLAAB has conducted two surveys of scientists’ experiences of animal methods bias in academic publishing. The first was an initial foray into this field and the second, which should be published later this year, is a much larger survey, together with an analysis of biomedical publications. Further research is planned, including a qualitative study of the experiences of PhD students and early career researchers, and – hopefully – an investigation into animal methods bias within biomedical funding.

It’s wonderful that Lush Prize has recognised the importance of this collaboration. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Five key messages from RAT TRAP – shortlisted for a 2024 Lush Prize!

For our first blog of 2024, we summarise five key messages from Safer Medicines Trust’s landmark new book, Rat Trap by Dr. Pandora Pound which we are delighted has been shortlisted for a 2024 Lush Prize in ‘Public Awareness’.

  1. A lack of translation from ‘bench to bedside’ has existed for decades and there are many opportunities that can and must be embraced for change. Better treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer are long overdue. Knowledge obtained from animal studies cannot be reliably applied to humans.
  2.  Science is at a turning point with the development of more powerful, human-relevant methods to investigate disease and drug discovery; for example in vitro assays , which have advanced from the origins of basic cell cultures through to ‘state of the art’ 3D organoids (‘mini organs’) and microphysiological systems (‘organs on chips’), as well  as advanced in silico models, which have evolved from simpler analyses to advanced deep learning models, incorporating artificial intelligence (A.I.) and the use of ‘big data’.
  3. No single method provides a solution. Instead, new approaches must be combined in different and ‘bespoke’ ways to answer specific research questions and build evidence. These new approaches can be used in tandem with existing clinical approaches and clinical data, which at present are vastly underused.
  4. The regulations governing animal research and pharmaceutical drugs require overhaul to accommodate the transition that is needed towards human-relevant science. Achieving a future with better drug safety and effective treatments depends on it. Regulatory action must be driven by government mandate. There is no specific legal requirement to test on animals, but long-standing guidelines and attitudes maintain a collective expectation that animals must be used.
  5. It is time to break with tradition and embrace the human in disease research and drug discovery. Funding must be diverted away from animal research and towards human biology-based approaches as a matter of priority.  The issue of animal research affects all of us. Our health and safety are at stake. This is not just about animals – the effect on patients has been overlooked for far too long.

See more reviews and information on Rat Trap – the spark for a revolution in science – here
as well as media coverage of the book and interviews with Dr. Pandora Pound

It can be bought direct from the publisher Troubador here
Or from online bookshops, including Amazon here

A conversation with Dr Pandora Pound, author of ‘Rat Trap’, by Animal-Free Science Advocacy

Dr Pandora Pound is Research Director at the Safer Medicines Trust. Dr Pound has written numerous influential papers on the scientific drawbacks of using animals as models for humans. Her newly published book ‘Rat Trap’ is a must-read.

Many thanks to Rachel Smith and Animal-Free Science Advocacy for this great podcast.

2024 Lush Prize Shortlist

We at Safer Medicines Trust are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for the wonderful Lush Prize in the Public Awareness Category for our book, Rat Trap!! Thank you so much to everyone who is reading and sharing it!

See more news here.

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