The comedian has long been an outspoken supporter of animal rights, and now he is urging people to sign a petition which calls for laboratory animals to be included in the Animal Welfare Act and protected from suffering.
It comes as campaigners staged a protest at the MBR Acres 'factory farm' in Cambridgeshire, which is accused of breeding up to 2,000 dogs per year for toxicology tests.
Activists claim the dogs can be forced to eat chemicals and inhale pesticides for up to 90 days without any pain relief or anaesthetic.
According to The Independent, Gervais said: "I'm deeply shocked to learn that thousands of beautiful beagles are intensively bred, right here in the peace of the British countryside, for painful and terrifying toxicity experiments that are also now proven to entirely fail the search for human treatments and cures."
Actor Peter Egan launched the petition, which has attracted almost 20,000 signatures at the time of writing - with 100,000 needed for it to be considered for debate in Parliament.
It's in my heart I hope it's in yours; please sign my Parliament Petition; laboratory animals must be included in the Animal Welfare Act, to ban horrific experiments on dogs & other animals.
Sign & RT https://t.co/H9Eab2JWsH#EndAnimalTesting #ScarlettsLaw #EDM175 #Dogs pic.twitter.com/yPiIuwMrQo
- Peter Egan (@PeterEgan6) July 21, 2021
The petition reads: "The Government needs to change the law so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. Laboratory animals are currently not protected by the Act and are therefore victims of 'unnecessary suffering'.
"A recent exposé showed harrowing footage of the factory farming of laboratory dogs in the UK.
"Experiments on such dogs, and other animals, are today widely reported to be entirely failing the search for human treatments and cures.
"Current science from multiple fields proves that animal-based research and testing is not viable.
"The Government should therefore change the law to include laboratory animals under the protection of the Animal Welfare Act, to prevent their unnecessary suffering."
A spokesperson for MBR Acres - which is owned by US company Marshall BioResources - said it 'does not undertake regulatory toxicology or other experiments and has only animal care staff working on its sites'.
Good morning from Camp Beagle, where we have joined many others for another day-long demonstration outside the vile puppy breeding facility, MBR Acres.
Please join us! If you can't join us, please share the posts on social media. #CampBeagle #FreeTheMBRBeagles pic.twitter.com/NFmIVM6ERz
- Mendip Hunt Sabs (@mendiphuntsabs) July 22, 2021
They continued: "Expert opinion on why animals are needed in research should be sought from the medicines regulator and scientists or organisations working in this field.
"These experiments form a small but crucial part of a wide range of applications from ecology work to investigations into human and animal diseases including those that led directly to the vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, cancer drugs, pet medicines and products labelled as safe for pets.
"We are proud of the role we play in supporting human and animal health regardless of the misconceptions of campaigners."
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