(ANIMAL TESTING/ACTIVISM) Britain’s most famous feline, a street cat named Bob, and his caretaker James Bowen, the author of best-selling book, A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life, are joining forces with the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV).

With its “Our Best Friends” campaign, the BUAV and the celebrity duo are calling on the UK government to end the use of cats and dogs in experiments.

In 2012 alone, over 3,000 dogs and 200 cats were used in experiments in Great Britain—a 6 percent increase for dogs and a shocking 32 percent increase for cats in just one year.

Read below for more on Street Cat Bob and the UK’s cruel animal testing methods. Sign the petition to add your voice to their call to end the use of cats and dogs in UK research. — Global Animal

Photo Credit:
James Bowen, author of A Street Cat Named Bob, poses with his ginger kitty Bob. Photo Credit: BUAV

British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)

London – James Bowen, may be the UK’s most famous busker after the story of his life with ginger cat, Bob, was turned into a best-selling book which has sold over one million copies and has been translated into 29 languages around the world.

Bob has fans from all walks of life and accompanies James everywhere from book signings to TV interviews and literary fairs. It is detailed in the book ‘A Street Cat named Bob’ that James accredits his recovery from drugs and his conviction to stay healthy to his beloved cat, who simply turned up one day out of the blue needing treatment for an injury and eventually started following James when he travelled to busk in Central London.

James’ passion for cats isn’t just limited to his own feline, however, and he has joined forces with the BUAV for its Our Best Friends campaign calling on the UK Government to end the use of cats and dogs in experiments.

James said:

“Bob is my best friend, we look out for each other and there is no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.  Knowing just how clever, sociable, loving and cheeky cats can be, it is horrible to imagine that there are many suffering in UK laboratories.

Instead of companionship and adventures, they will experience only pain. That is why I am supporting the BUAV’s Our Best Friends campaign and asking for the Government to ban experiments on cats and dogs. Please sign the petition today, thank you.”

Street musician James Bowen busks with cat Bob in Covent Garden in London March 13, 2012. Bowen has written a book named "A Street Cat Named Bob" about the experiences of the then homeless pair and how they met. Photo Credit: usa.chinadaily.com.cn
Street musician James Bowen with cat Bob in Covent Garden in London. Photo Credit: usa.chinadaily.com.cn

Home Office statistics report that 3,214 dogs and 202 cats were used in experiments in Great Britain in 2012. This represents a 6% increase for dogs and a 32% increase for cats on the previous year.

The BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, said:

“In the UK, cats and dogs are our most popular companion animals, yet they continue to be harmed in cruel experiments and there is no Government policy to reduce their use, let alone bring it to an end. We thank James for his support and urge the public to join us to make their voices heard, by writing to their MPs to sign EDM 514 and by signing our petition today at ourbestfriends.org/petition.”

Other high-profile people supporting the campaign include Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Miranda Richardson, Mary McCartney, Kirsty Gallacher, Kimberly Wyatt, Helen Skelton and Jilly Cooper.

More info. on cat experimentation:

  • Cats are often used in fundamental (curiosity-driven) biological research. This usually focuses on the visual and nervous system and can involve experiments in which cats are deprived of their sight or subjected to lengthy, invasive brain experiments from which they do not recover.
  • The BUAV exposed experimentation at Cardiff University in 2012 in which newborn litters of kittens were raised in total darkness and others were deprived of sight in one eye by having their eyelids sewn shut. The kittens were then anaesthetised, and their skulls cut open to expose their brains. Images were recorded of the responses of the cats’ brains (visual cortex) to visual stimuli, after which the cats were killed and parts of their brains removed for further analysis.

Buy A Street Cat Named Bob on Amazon:

Other books about James and Bob include: Bob, No Ordinary Cat, The World According to Bob, and Where in the World is Bob.

More BUAV: http://www.buav.org/