The BUAV has welcomed support from Imperial College London graduate and Queen guitarist Dr Brian May, following its release of disturbing evidence of terrible animal suffering, poor practice and wrongdoing at one of the University’s animal research laboratories.Dr Brian May said, “I am shocked and saddened to see these revelations. And ashamed that it could have taken place in the University of my own training, in which I have had so much pride. I can only fully support the work of BUAV and the RSPCA in conducting a full inquiry. And I hope the result will be that this appalling cruelty will never be allowed to happen again.“Research on animals is an outdated concept – unethical, and unsupportable now that it is known that it yields false results. There is now, in every case, a better alternative.“Experimentation on animals must now come to an end, and I urge Imperial College to use this opportunity to put all cruelty in the past, by eliminating animal experimentation, and thereby set an example to the world.”Dr May’s call follows a BUAV investigation in which an investigator worked for seven months at Imperial College and documented a catalogue of shortcomings and wrongdoing by staff and researchers that caused even more distress and suffering to the animals in its care than was allowed in the experiments.Findings included: breaches in and lack of knowledge of UK Home Office project licences; a failure to provide adequate anaesthesia and pain relief; incompetence and neglect and highly disturbing methods used to kill animals.The UK Government and research industry repeatedly claim that the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world for animals in laboratories, yet huge secrecy surrounds animal research. This BUAV investigation has shown the reality of these welfare claims at one of the UK’s leading universities, with breaches of the regulatory regime and inappropriate licensing and enforcement by the Home Office.Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of the BUAV stated: “We welcome the support from eminent scientist, rock-guitarist and Save Me wildlife campaigner Dr Brian May who has spoken out against the shocking revelations uncovered by the BUAV during our investigation at Imperial College London. Please join Brian in supporting our call for an urgent independent inquiry.”The BUAV is urging the UK Government to revoke the Establishment Licence of Imperial College London and set up an inquiry, wholly independent of the Home Office, into the concerns they raise.Sign the BUAV’s petition on Change.org calling for an end to animal experiments at Imperial College London.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) announced that its annual Broadway Belts for PFF! raised a record-breaking $350,000, bringing its eight-year fundraising total to nearly $1.2 million.Broadway stars Aaron Tveit, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Harvey Fierstein, Andrew RannellsThe sold-out event on March 12 featured a “Sweet 16” reunion of the Tony Award-winning musical HAIRSPRAY original cast members to honor Margo Lion, an original producer and a longtime supporter of Broadway Belts for PFF! The reunion, helmed by its Tony Award-winning composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and featuring stunning performances by Marissa Jaret Winokur, Harvey Fierstein, Andrew Rannells, Jackie Hoffman, Chester Gregory, Clark Thorell and many original Hairspray cast members, drew standing ovations from the crowd.In addition, Bryan Terrell Clark (HAMILTON, MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL), Robert Creighton (CAGNEY, FROZEN), Lesli Margherita (MATILDA, DAMES AT SEA), Stephanie Gibson (CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY) and Alex Getlin (ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE THEATER) were among the Broadway talents that graced the stage. Making a special appearance, New York Yankees legend and Latin Grammy-nominee, Bernie Williams, performed in memory of his father who succumbed to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in 2001.The exclusive fundraiser at New York City’s Edison Ballroom was hosted by Broadway star and comedienne Julie Halston. As leading advocates for the PFF, Halston and her husband Ralph Howard co-created the event after their friend, Associated Press theater critic Michael Kuchwara, passed away from IPF. Coincidentally, Howard was subsequently diagnosed with IPF and has received a lung transplant.“Broadway Belts for PFF! has been a labor of love from the start,” said Julie Halston. “And through the enormous generosity of the Broadway community we have grown bigger every year to provide resources for pulmonary fibrosis patients and their families.”Broadway Belts for PFF! was directed by Carl Andress (THE DIVINE SISTER) with Christopher McGovern (CAGNEY) as Musical Director and Ed Windels as Music Coordinator, to honor Broadway producer Margo Lion. The benefit was produced for the eighth straight year by D. Michael Dvorchak, Sue Frost (MEMPHIS, COME FROM AWAY), Julie Halston and Ed Windels.“Broadway Belts for PFF! is an extraordinary opportunity for us to raise awareness and funds for pulmonary fibrosis programs and research,” said William T. Schmidt, PFF President and CEO. “On behalf of the pulmonary fibrosis community, I am pleased to thank and congratulate Julie Halston and the entire Broadway Belts team for a truly outstanding and memorable event.”Proceeds support the PFF’s work aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals living with pulmonary fibrosis and to fund research for a cure for the devastating disease involving scarring in the lungs. PF affects 200,000 Americans and results in more than 40,000 deaths annually. Fifty thousand new cases are diagnosed each year. There is no known cure for PF.Broadway Belts for PFF! was generously sponsored by Genentech, Gay and Doug Lane Charitable Foundation, Steffy Family Foundation, Margo Lion, and The Ettinger Foundation, Incorporated.