We Need to Change the ‘Empty Laws’ that Currently Protect Lab Animals

Although World Week for Animals in Laboratories has drawn to a close, we need to remember that for the research animals still behind bars, the suffering is far from over. While some are fortunate enough to make it to a sanctuary, there are many, many more who still need our help.

Empty Laws: A Short Film

The New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) and We Animals recently released Empty Laws, a short film documenting the impact of weak regulatory standards on primates in labs.

By exposing the unnecessary suffering that takes place behind locked laboratory doors, the film captures what is wrong with already weak regulatory standards. It’s not an easy watch —these types of documentaries never are, but don’t let that be an excuse to shy away from it.

“By definition, the life of a research animal is a life of trauma,” says the film’s director, Kelly Guerin. “If maintaining not only the physical, but also the psychological wellbeing of primates in labs cannot be done, then their use in labs must simply end.”

3 Ways You Can Help Lab Animals

It may seem like too mammoth of a problem to overcome alone, but there is actually a lot we can do as individuals to make a difference. As the scientist Margaret Mead so rightly said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

1. Support Animal Welfare Groups

Animal welfare groups like NEAVS and We Animals work tirelessly to ensure all animals are protected and free from harm. There are also plenty of awesome rescue groups, such as New Life Animal Sanctuary and The Beagle Freedom Project, helping lab animals live out the remainder of their lives in a safe and loving environment.

Organizations the world over are doing what they can to make a difference, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to support their efforts in whatever way we can. Whether that’s by donating to their cause or spreading word of their efforts, every bit helps.

2. Have Your Say

By filling out this form online you can put pressure on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) not to weaken existing requirements for researchers seeking to use animals in research. This simple act can make a big difference to the countless lab animals suffering in the name of science.

3. Choose Cruelty-Free Products

A film like Empty Laws highlights the importance of making ethically sound choices. Because it’s only when demand for products that are tested on animals diminishes that companies will stop making them.

Choosing cruelty-free products is one of the easiest ways you can make a difference to the lab animals. It’s also better for you health and the environment. Think of it as a win/win/win. Pretty sweet, right?

4. Help Spread the Word

Share Empty Laws on social media. Encourage your friends and family to do the same and tell them why it’s important.  Oftentimes it’s ignorance that leads us to make poor choices, such as buying products that are tested on animals.

Ultimately, animal testing is bad science, and it doesn’t work. If we all help spread the word in an informative and non-antagonistic way, we can eventually put an end to this barbaric and outdated practice.

“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally OK to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” —Professor Charles R. Magel

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

Cindy S
Cindy Smith9 months ago

people are evil

Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx10 months ago

Only in ONE case animal testing should be allowed, viz. against serious diseases, for which there is no treatment at all, i.e. certain cancers, untreatable so far, or others like Parkinson, Alzheimer and ALS, which are terrible diseases and without any form of treatment. But I repeat that the number of animals must me limited, as well as the number of tests. It may NOT be that certain animals spend their whole life in these cells, in time as well as in numbers. After a maximum of 2 years, depending their average age, they should be placed in a sanctuary, where they can roam freely and play with their fellow members. Eventually a commission should be established to see to it that all recommendations / regulations are carefully followed up by ALL countries. It could not be that f.i. only the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. can only and obtain big advances in selling medicines for the whole world.
At the one hand there are too many animals suffering, and too many suffering unnecessarily for too long time. There should be an International agreement which country can do what and with how many animals. The pharmaceutical industry is since longtime NO LONGER interested in healing people. Their only interest is in obtaining large profits, to the benefit of the shareholders.

Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx10 months ago

We certainly have to DO whatever WE CAN to ameliorate the training, and the protection of all primates. In fact I think we should ALL protest and NOT BUY against cosmetic products which were tested on animals. Same applies for so many testing of medicines against certain diseases, for which there is already a good medicine. Only to prevent some minor side-effects, WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW THAT HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS of animals are abused month after month after month by VARIOUS DIFFERENT LABS. Even for new medicines, ONLY ONE LAB should be allowed to conduct any animal testing. That's already ENOUGH suffering. And we also should insist that all laboratory animals are housed very well, and treated even better. No more tiny cages, no more painful testing, etc... Also, these animals should be placed in groups, the days they are NOT tested, and they need toys, slings, etc.. to amuse themselves. Now they live in worse conditions than many inmates who are sentenced to death !!! This MUST CHANGE...

Barbara M
Past Member 10 months ago

Signed. Thanks.

Marija M
Marija M10 months ago

tks very much

Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago

I recently saw a jumping spider trained to jump so her motion could be recorded. She looked fine and happy, so it can be done ethically.

Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago


Trish K
Trish K10 months ago

Torture is immoral

Christine S
Christine Stewart10 months ago

the video of the chimps experiencing freedom for the first time always makes me so emotional!