Stop British chemical weapons tests on animals

This video about Syria says about itself:


the Free Syrian army, now allies of the Turkish Erdogan regime in attacking Afrin

Test Chemical Weapons On Rabbits & Request Gas With 1km Radius

30 August 2013

This video shows the FSA testing chemical weapons (specifically sarin gas) on rabbits as well as footage of FSA fighters posing with dozens of containers full of nitric acid and Tekkim. Towards the end of the video there is a recorded phone call of a FSA fighter requesting a chemical weapon with a radius of 1km.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain:

Friday, March 23, 2018

Animal Welfare: Government called on to end inhumane chemical weapons tests on animals

CAMPAIGNERS called on the government today to end painful and inhumane chemical weapons tests on animals.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) has hit out at painful inhalation tests on animals in its Chemical Weapons Defence Centre at Porton Down.

NAVS is calling for the new, publicly funded facility to use advanced human-relevant methods instead as thousands of animals suffer each year during experiments by the Ministry of Defence.

Society president Jan Creamer said using animals in chemical weapons tests was “ethically and scientifically wrong.”

She said: “Unlike advanced alternatives, the results simply cannot provide reliable predictions of how humans will react to harmful substances, hindering medical progress and costing animals’ lives.”

Monkeypox tests, a similar virus to smallpox, have been conducted on animals despite vaccinations for smallpox on humans already found to be “safe and well tolerated” in the majority of people.

Relatively uncommon diseases such as the Western equine encephalitis virus, which is contracted through mosquito bites or proximity to infected horses, are also tested.

All the animals who were exposed to the virus died, but in natural human exposure the mortality rate was only 3-4 per cent.

Once experiments are over and after suffering various symptoms, animals are killed and have their organs removed for further testing.

Campaigners have suggested using human-relevant experiments instead, such as the human lung-on-a-chip device.

This is made using lung and blood vessel cells that reproduce the “structural, functional and mechanical” properties of the human lung and has been used to model respiratory infections, including tuberculosis.


Animals in circuses ban in Britain

This video says about itself:

25 April 2016

When circuses are touring, animals are forced to live in collapsible, temporary accommodation, and welfare is inevitably compromised. Our investigation of Peter Jolly’s Circus winter quarters reveals that life is just as miserable for circus animals when they are not touring. Find out more and how you can help here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Actors welcome plans to ban wild animals in circuses

BRITISH actors have welcomed plans to ban wild animal circuses in England within two years.

Brian Blessed, a long-standing supporter of Animal Defenders International (ADI) and its campaign to stop circus suffering, said he was “absolutely delighted” that a wild animal circus ban is in sight.

“It cannot come soon enough for the animals, who must endure an utterly unnatural and miserable life in the circus,” he said.

ADI said circuses could not provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy as they are frequently on the move.

Joanna Lumley, another staunch supporter of the campaign, said: “Forced to perform, caged and confined — it is haunting and horrifying to see animals being used in circuses and I’m thrilled that action will finally be taken.”

She also called for an end to the “pitiful acts” across Britain and urged the public to join her in backing ADI’s campaign.

ADI president Jan Creamer said: “Circuses cannot meet the needs of animals in small, mobile accommodation and Animal Defenders International has repeatedly documented suffering and abuse.”

An increase in awareness of circus animals’ suffering has led to a decline in the number of acts in Britain, with only two performing in England using wild animals.

Suffering caused to wild animals by constant travel, severe restrictions on movement and an unnatural lifestyle has prompted authorities and governments around the world to end their use in circuses.

National restrictions on performing animals in travelling shows have now been enacted in 43 countries.

Pond wildlife discovered by British children

This video from Britain says about itself:

Explore a watery world with pond dipping

23 February 2018

Summer is a great time to go exploring, and whether you’re by the sea, a pond or any other water, it’s also a great time to learn more about underwater nature first hand.

Make sure you stay safe however you choose to explore.

The video features frogs, newts and insects.

Peace and disarmament video

This video says about itself:

VOICES OF International Peace BureauLisa Clark

13 February 2018

Disarmament means peace. IPB stands for disarmament!!”

Britain: Sixty years on: why we need CND more than ever: here.

British governmental destruction of fire safety

This video from the British parliament says about itself:

Cameron wanted to scrap fire regulations – Lib Dem

12 July 2017

David Cameron​ wanted to scrap fire regulations says ex-minister Sir Ed Davey​, as The Labour Party​’s John Healey MP​ criticizes fire safety check processes for being “in chaos”.

By Trevor Johnson in Britain:

Post-Grenfell Tower fire report confirms systemic corporate flouting of health and safety standards

6 February 2018

“I have been shocked by some of the practices I have heard about…”

“What is initially designed is not what is being built, and quality assurance of materials and people is seriously lacking.”

“It has become clear that the whole system of regulation, covering what is written down and the way in which it is enacted in practice, is not fit for purpose, leaving room for those who want to take shortcuts to do so.”

“The mindset of doing things as cheaply as possible… must stop.”

The above quotes are from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. They represent a devastating indictment of the “bonfire of regulations” in the UK in the last decades that has left big business free to do whatever it wants to cut corners and raise profits.

The report was commissioned by the Conservative government after last June’s Grenfell Tower fire, to run alongside the official inquiry headed by Sir Martin Moore-Bick. With Moore-Bick’s inquiry aimed at a cover-up and specifically ruling out any evaluation of issues of a “social, economic and political nature”, Hackitt’s inquiry is meant to deal with issues he would not be covering regarding regulations and fire safety.

While forced to detail how the UK’s building regulations are wholly designed to satisfy the interests of big business, Hackitt favours only minor tinkering with regulations that are being ignored with impunity. This is despite the fact that thousands still live in buildings covered in similar flammable materials to those used in the Grenfell Tower cladding and which led to a small kitchen fire becoming an inferno that claimed the lives of at least 71 people.

There are no calls for any concrete measures that would decisively change the rules to put safety first, rather than profit.

After criticising the flouting of basic health and safety standards by companies, Hackitt, a former engineer and ex-chair of the Health and Safety Executive, states, “I am convinced of the need for a new intelligent system of regulation and enforcement for high-rise and complex buildings which will encourage everyone to do the right thing and will hold to account those who try to cut corners.”

However, she concludes that what is required for this is a “cultural and behavioural change” across the building sector. There is no explanation of how such a situation, impacting the lives of millions of people, came about. For almost 40 years, there has been a dismantling of housing and planning regulations by successive Labour and Tory-led governments to reduce the cost “burden” to business.

One passage shows the extent to which large-scale developers can literally get away with murder. Section 35 of the Building Act (1984) deals with the “Penalty for contravening building regulations.” Hackitt writes, “However, formal enforcement and sanctions activity is very limited—undermining the consequences associated with non-compliance. The level of financial deterrent usually applied under section 35 is unlikely to prove an impediment to large or medium-sized developers. There is, therefore, little to drive compliant behaviour where an individual or organisation is unwilling to meet their legal responsibilities under the Building Regulations.”

Hackitt highlights a finding that “Responsible persons frequently do little to verify competence” of those given the task of ensuring building safety.

Throughout the report, the assumption is made that safety measures can be put into operation only when it does not interfere with the ability of the owners to make profit. Thus, we see, “There is a responsibility to give due consideration to what it is reasonable and practicable to do to upgrade and improve the fire safety of existing facilities throughout their lifespan …”

Even on essential safety issues like fire prevention, Hackitt considers it too great an imposition on landlords to demand, in law, that they carry out basic improvements such as fitting sprinkler systems in tower blocks. Currently there are no such sprinklers in most tower blocks, and the ones that have them are generally luxury flats inhabited by the rich.

Hackitt notes that building work often starts before plans have been approved by the building control bodies (BCBs) and that what gets built often differs from what is in the plans, “as a result of business processes such as value engineering.”

She makes no proposals that such practices be halted, only that changes to plans should be reviewed before being implemented.

Hackett asked for input from the construction industry, housing, landlord and tenant organisations, fire safety organisations and relevant experts and professional bodies, as well as residents of high-rise buildings. The lack of enforcement of existing building regulations is so blatant that most respondents raised it: “Approximately 65% of respondents indicated that the current checking and inspection regime is not adequately backed up through enforcement and sanctions.”

It also found that “Less than 5% of respondents indicated that it is adequately backed up.”

Even the Fire Industry Association, the trade association dealing with fire safety, admitted, “The response from contractors would often be to cover up areas quickly in order to avoid the risk of Building Control identifying problems that would then need rectifying.”

This raises the issue of the changes in law that caused inspections to be scaled back, allowing contractors to get away with this. But the implications are skirted over by Hackitt.

Responses of tower block residents received by Hackitt were highly critical of a lack of enforcement: “Residents gave several examples of instances where fire risk assessments had been either perfunctory or not completed on a regular basis, resulting in a detrimental cumulative impact on fire safety. There was a call for punitive measures aimed at holding to account those who failed to enforce required measures.”

From her comments since the report, Hackitt will likely give those guilty of flouting regulations a get-out clause in her final report, on the basis that current regulations are too complicated to understand! She told BBC Radio’s Today programme, “When regulations are complex it makes it quite difficult for people to penetrate that complexity to truly understand what they are required to do.”

From the initial report, one can only surmise that Hackitt’s will continue in the tradition of all previous government inquiries. Even when these resulted in a tightening of regulations, the changes were ignored in practice. More preventable deaths in fires are the inevitable consequence.

As a sop to the public anger generated by the Grenfell deaths, Hackitt said that those responsible for the safety of buildings should not wait for her final report this spring but should start making buildings safer now. However, as has been proved by the response of the ruling elite since the Grenfell fire, they will do no such thing.