Three years ago, on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations' ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Uncaged Campaigns launched an ambitious and historic project - to achieve a similar ratification of a Universal Declaration of Animal Rights (UDAR) by the centenary of the UDHR - 2048.

At the present time, the focal point for this project is International Animal Rights Day (IARD) on December 10, the date of the ratification of the UDHR. The premise is simple and irresistable - all animals, not just humans, are autonomous, sensitive, conscious beings who are vulnerable to harm. The reasons why humans beings deserve the respect that flows from a recognition of their right not to be deliberately harmed apply equally to aniamls. To withhold such respect from animals is arbitrary and unjust. Animals will never be free from harmful domination by humans until their basic moral rights are recognised and honoured. The most fundamental aim of all animal rights campaigners across the world is encompassed by our campaign for a UDAR. This is the touchstone for our movement.

Focus on primate vivisection

Uncaged Campaigns has consulted with the U.S. animal protection organisation In Defense of Animals (IDA) in the run-up to this year's IDAR. Originally the focus for the day of action would be the issue of primate vivisection. Our suggestion is that campaoigners across the globe mount a candleit vigil outside an institution or company that conducts or supports the vivisection of nonhuman primates. We think that this is a logical approach which acknowledges the historical shifts that are beginning to take place with regard to attitudes towards nonhumans: the first 'battleground' is the status of nonhuman primates. However, the beauty of IDAR is that animal rights campaigners can hold a candlelit vigil outside whichever abuser of animals they choose, in the knowledge that they are joining together with campaigners around the world in a global call for respect for animals.

Novartis xenotransplantation research on primates

Uncaged Campaigns had hoped to devote more time to the build up to this year's IDAR, but as I'm sure you are aware we've been rather pre-occupied with our efforts to expose Imutran/Novartis's horrific xenotransplantation research on primates. However, this does fit neatly into the rationale behind IDAR. Novartis are conducting pig-to-primate organ transplant experiments in several countries in an effort to develop a brand new form of animal abuse: xenotransplantation. Novartis have moved their primate vivisection from the UK to Canada because of restrictions placed on the level of suffering they could inflict on primates by the UK Home Office. Novartis is a global company that moves its research to wherever it can conduct it without unwelcome animal welfare limitations. We must respond to the globalisation of this extreme animal abuse with global pressure.

We propose to hold a candlelit vigil outside Imutran's offices at Wingate House, Maris Lane, Trumpington, Cambridge around teatime (4pm - 7pm) on 10th December. Imutran are still operating until the end of this year, and our vigil will be a remembrance of the hundreds of primates who have suffered and died at Imutran's hands, as well as a protest at Novartis' continuation of this traumatic, painful and lethal research programme.

Please join us outside Imutran or organise a vigil outside a Novartis centre in your area. A list of Novartis offices can be found on their website www.novartis.com.

Spread the word & feedback

Please pass on this information about IDAR to all your friends and colleagues. Whatever you plan to do for IDAR, please contact us to let us know! We shall keep a record opf participants and actions on our website in order to enable concerned people to get involved. More information about the campaign can be found at our website www.uncaged.co.uk.

We hope that we can all join together to help secure respect for animals and a recognition of their rights not to be deliberately harmed by human beings who should know better.


Credit: Organ Farm

























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