Skip Navigation
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

Animals and Alternatives in Testing: History, Science, and Ethics

Joanne Zurlo, Deborah Rudacille, and Alan M. Goldberg


Appendix E: Great Britain Animal Welfare Timeline

1789Jeremy Bentham, utilitarian philosopher, writes of animals. "the question is not, can they reason, nor can they talk, but can they suffer?"
1822Martin's Act, the first law against cruelty to animals, passed in Britain. The original legislation does not include cats, dogs, or birds.
1824Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals founded in Britain. In 1835, Princess Victoria extends her patronage and the society becomes the R(Royal)SPCA.
1875Frances Powers Cobbe presents the first antivivisection bill in history to the British House of Lords and founds the Victoria Street Society.
Scientist's Bill is presented in the House of Commons.
A Royal Commission is formed to study the issue.
1876The Cruelty to Animals Act is passed. The bill is moderately restrictionist in approach and sets up a system of licensing and certification.
1926University of London Animal Welfare Society founded.
1938Name changed to University Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW).
1947UFAW produces the first Handbook on the Care and Management of Laboratory Animals.
1959The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique written by Russell and Burch is published.
1961Lawson-Tait Trust founded to promote methods of medical research not requiring animals. The trust awards grants only to researchers who do not hold a license under the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act.
1969FRAME founded in London to promote the use of alternatives where available and to support increased funding for research aimed at developing alternative methods.
1970Dr. Hadwen Trust set up by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. Grant recipients may hold licenses under the 1876 Act but must not use living animals in their work.
1973Lord Dowding Fund established by the National Antivivisection Society to dispense research grants to individuals not holding licenses under the Cruelty to Animals Act for research projects not involving the use of live animals for experimental purposes, for projects likely to lead to the alleviation of human or animal suffering.
1974Humane Research Fund gives grants to license holders if the object of the work is to reduce the number of animals used.
1978Alternatives to Animal Experiments by Smyth is published.
1986Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act is passed.