More than 900,000 people are currently living with heart failure in the UK, with cardiac fibrosis being the leading cause of heart failure.

Even with decades of animal experiments, the results continue to be poor predictors of cardiac fibrosis in humans – and despite huge scientific investment in animal-based research, there still is no effective treatment for the condition.
Shockingly, it is predicted that over 1.1 million animals in the UK alone will have been used in the quest to find treatments and cures for cardiac fibrosis by 2030. 
Latest figures also show the use of dogs in medical research is on the rise. In 2021, Home Office statistics confirmed there were 4,340 experiments on dogs alone. A number that is appalling and unacceptable, and heartbreakingly is a 3% increase from the year before. Beagles like Herbie accounted for 96% of these experiments and are the preferred breed of dog due to their small frames and docile nature.
Change needs to happen. We owe it to the millions of animals who suffer and die every year.
And there is hope for both humans and animals. Professor Chris Denning and his team at the University of Nottingham are working to develop cutting edge human stem cell models and make ‘mini hearts’, to deepen our understanding of cardiac fibrosis as it occurs in humans.
Projects like these are the real hope to save humans and animals - and prove our scientists are true pioneers in animal free research. This is why it’s so important that our work around heart disease is completed – as well as that of all our other pioneering projects that we need to ensure are funded properly to find treatments and cures for human disease. It’s why we're asking you to make a donation today to help continue to fund humane, compassionate science.
Donate today and help heal broken hearts.


         Meet Herbie, who like thousands of others was bred for research...


A glimmer of hope from kinder science
Cardiac fibrosis, the thickening of heart tissue, is currently the leading cause of heart failure. It is hard to treat, and the need to urgently tackle cardiac fibrosis is now well-recognised by clinicians, academics, industry, and biotech companies internationally. 
Funded by Animal Free Research UK, the ‘Mini Hearts’ Research Project looks to deepen our understanding of cardiac fibrosis by using human stem cell models to support drug discovery, which could one day lead to ways to treat and help protect those with the condition.
The project will deliver a highly defined, human-relevant, reproducible, and controllable model – a model that will better serve cardiac research and would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals and people.

Building a brighter future for humans and animals