World Day for Laboratory Animals – April 24th – commemorates the suffering of animals in laboratories. Founded in 1979 by ADI’s campaign partner in the UK, National Anti-Vivisection Society, World Day for Laboratory Animals has been a focal point for educating the public and legislators about animal tests and the alternatives for nearly 40 years.
Founded in 1875, the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) was the world’s first organisation campaigning against animal experiments, and established the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research (LDF) in 1973 to support and fund advanced non-animal methods of scientific and medical research.
Founded in 1990, Animal Defenders International (ADI) funds and promotes advanced scientific methods to replace the use of animals in research, the LDF transferred to its charitable foundation in 2017.
Together ADI, the LDF and NAVS work with government officials, licensing bodies, inspectors, scientists, academics, and a range of stakeholders to achieve progress for animals used in laboratories.
The little brown dog
On December 12th, 1985 the NAVS erected a statue of a little brown dog in Battersea Park, London, to commemorate the suffering of millions of laboratory animals worldwide, but also to ensure that the suffering of one dog is never forgotten. This was not the first such statue, but bears the same inscription as the original, removed in 1910. The issue of the brown dog was a key feature in the first undercover investigation of animal experiments by anti-vivisectionists, and the subject of the 1903 Bayliss-Coleridge libel case – Dr Bayliss of London University versus the Honorary Secretary of the National Anti-Vivisection Society.
Read the story of the little brown dog here