You are here:

Stars join fight to end animal tests by recreating iconic protest photo

Published on


Evanna Lynch, Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film series, Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson, and Lesley Nicol, who played Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey, have teamed up with us and animal protection organisations Animal Free Research and OneKind to recreate a famous photo from an animal rights demonstration from 100 years ago

Evanna Lynch, Lucy Watson and Lesley Nicol ask you to sign petition urging UK government to bring animal tests to an end

Stars from Harry PotterDownton Abbey and Made in Chelsea have recreated an iconic image of protest in the UK’s animal protection history as they join the call for an end to UK animal tests. 

Evanna Lynch, Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film series, Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson, and Lesley Nicol, who played Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey, have teamed up with us and animal protection organisations Animal Free Research and OneKind to recreate a famous photo from an animal rights demonstration from 100 years ago. 

The original photo from 1919 shows three women from the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection protesting in Parliament Square while the Dogs (Protection) Bill was being debated in Parliament. Our three stars have stepped back in time to recreate the powerful scene to coincide with the latest UK Government animal testing statistics released today, providing a stark reminder that animals in laboratories are still subjected to cruel and unreliable experiments a century on.    

Despite a drop in the total number of UK animal experiments this year, largely explained by two national lockdowns, the Home Office statistics reveal a depressing rise in research on dogs (up by 3%), cats (up by 11%), rabbits (up by 11%) and horses (up by 3%), highlighting no concerted effort to reduce the number of tests on these animals. The number of experiments on horses has increased by 29% in the last decade alone.  

While we welcome the drop in the number of animals used in UK experiments (down 15% from 3.4 million to 2.9 million), largely as a result of the COVID lockdown, that’s still 2.9 million too many. We call on the government to use this opportunity as a launchpad for further decreases and a concerted phase-out. 

Evanna, Lucy and Lesly join us in urging you to sign our #TargetZero petition calling on the government to bring forward an ambitious, concrete plan to phase out UK animal experiments.  

Lucy Watson says: “Progress must be made – I can’t believe that women were fighting for justice for animals reduced to unnecessary animal testing over 100 years ago and here we are today, protesting about the same issue! Very few people know the extent of the problem, so I really hope that this campaign helps to draw attention to the issue.” 

Lesley Nicol says: “It’s horrifying to know how many animal experiments take place each year in the UK. In the 1900s people were fighting for animal experiments to stop and fast forward 118 years, here we are again… So why hasn’t a change been made? With modern science evolving, it’s beyond my comprehension that scientists, universities and brands haven’t made more of an effort to replace animal experiments.” 

Evanna Lynch says“I have been campaigning for animal rights for the past decade, yet this issue remains one of the biggest issues in animal welfare that urgently needs to be addressed. The UK carries out more animal experiments than most countries in Europe, but this doesn’t have to the be case. We can – and should – be leaders in paving the way for ethical, effective experiments that don’t cruelly exploit animals.” 

Our studies reveal that UK animal testing has only fallen by 1% annually over the past 10 years, meaning that If the UK continues at the same rate - this year’s unusual figure excepted - animal tests will not end for yet another century.  

Our CEO Michelle Thew says: “We’re very grateful to Evanna, Lucy and Lesley for helping us recreate this image from 100 years ago. Whilst we of course welcome any drop in the number of experiments on animals, this year’s reported drop can be attributed to the impact of national lockdowns on laboratories not because the government has been doing more to end this cruelty.  

“We must build on this decrease and make sure the number never goes back up again. That’s why we’re supporting the Target Zero petition so the British public can express their support for ending this cruelty once and for all.”