Animal experiment increase ‘shocking and sickening’, say campaigners


CRUELTY Free International has condemned the Government for the unacceptable levels of suffering inflicted on animals in British laboratories.

  It follows the release of new statistics showing a rise in the number of experiments on animals last year, which rose to 4.14 million. 

  In light of Brexit, the animal protection organisation is calling on the Government to strengthen the UK’s policies to make ‘meaningful and long-lasting’ change for the millions of animals used in experiments. 

  There was a slight fall in the number of procedures carried out on dogs in 2015. There were 4,643 experiments, three per cent down on (4,779).  Of the 3,405 dogs used for the first time in experimental procedures in 2015, 63 per cent (2,140) were born in the UK, seven per cent (253) were born in Europe and 30 per cent (1,012) outside Europe.

  Of the 4.14 million experiments completed during 2015, 2.06 million related to the 'creation'/breeding of genetically altered animals who were not used in further experiments, and the remaining 2.08 million were used in experiments. 

  Other animals used were mice, rats, fish, birds, horses and monkeys. The number of experiments on pigs rose by 50 per cent to 5,500, on primates rose by 12 per cent to 3,600; fish, up 14 per cent to 294,000; and amphibians, up 15 per cent to 10,000.

  Of the 2.08 million experiments completed in 2015, 30 per cent (625,000) were assessed as moderate or severe. 

  “Those who share their lives with dogs will find the number of experiments conducted on our best friend’s in British laboratories to be completely unacceptable,” said Cruelty Free’s chief executive, Michelle Thew. “The UK should be leading the way in reducing testing on all animals, yet we remain one of the world’s largest users of animals in experiments.”

  She condemned what she said was ‘yet another wasted opportunity’ by the UK Government to reduce significantly the level of suffering and numbers of dogs used for experiments in UK laboratories, and called the increases ‘shocking and sickening’

  “This lack of progress is completely unacceptable, and with recent changes in Government it is disappointing that there is as yet no minister responsible for animal experiments.

  “In light of Brexit, we’re calling on the Government to strengthen its policies in order to make meaningful and long-lasting change for dogs and the millions of other animals suffering in horrific experiments in the UK.”