AIA Science Director, Dr Andre Menache, Testifies in Landmark Dutch Court Case

Andre At CourtIn December 2014 Dr Andre Menache presented evidence in a Dutch court of justice as an expert witness in defence of five animal rights persons who released six beagles destined for animal experiments.

Based on the information that the animal rights people had, these dogs were destined for toxicity tests categorised as ‘severe’. These are experiments where some animals are expected to die before the end of the study.

The six dogs were rescued from a private property on the night between 9 and 10 April 2013 and immediately transferred to loving homes. The five people involved turned themselves in to the police the following morning and confessed their actions but did not reveal the location of the rescued dogs.

The dog rescuers were found guilty of theft and will be sentenced on 22 December. It is likely that they will receive a community service order and be required to repay the value of the the stolen beagles (around one thousand euros per dog).

What was interesting at the trial was the fact that the judge was willing to hear a scientist speaking against animal experiments. Dr Menache’s role was to describe to the court the nature and suffering of these experiments and the fact that there are alternative ways of conducting this sort of research. Equally interesting was the fact that the public.

prosecutor, having heard statements about the feelings of dogs from the defence lawyer and some of the dog rescuers, at one point corrected herself. Instead of referring to dogs as ‘beasts’ (which is their legal definition), she corrected herself and used the term ‘animal’.

Perhaps it is about time for the law to raise the status of animals from beasts or mere property to that of sentient beings worthy of respect and the five RSPCA freedoms (with which we are familiar in the UK).

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Dr Andre Menache Speaks at London Vegan Festival – Aug 2014

On 17th August 2014, AIA board member and AVC’s Scientific Consultant Dr Andre Menache BSc (Hons) BVSC MRCVS – delivered a brilliant talk around the link between curiosity-driven research, Universities and public funding.

Andre Menache

The general public continues to tolerate animal experiments, thinking that they are life saving. However, based on Home Office statistics, nearly three quarters of all animals used in 2013 were for ‘basic research’ (also known as ‘curiosity driven research’).

Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, WITHOUT ANY PARTICULAR APPLICATION OR USE IN VIEW.

Researchers are quick to suggest that their basic research on animals may one day provide a cure for this or that human disease. However, the weight of scientific evidence clearly shows that the chances of this happening are almost zero, so all this money spent on basic research using animals would be better spent elsewhere on REAL science.

When the public is asked for its opinion on basic research using animals, the response is a resounding NO. In the largest survey of its kind, the European Commission found that 70 per cent of EU citizens are opposed to basic research using animals. And here’s the crazy part: we are funding it through our taxes even though most of us consider it to be cruel and useless.

AVC website: StopVivisection.org.uk Facebook: Facebook.com/AntiVivisectionCoalition Dr Menache is contactable via info@StopVivisection.org.uk Read more about Dr Menache’s work: AnimalConsultants.org/andre-menache.html

See the video of Andre’s talk here: – http://vimeo.com/104386197