Animal Experiments – scandalous annual statistics

Posted on the 19th July 2018

Home Office statistics, released today, reveal the horrifying scale of experiments on living animals in Great Britain. In 2017, 3,721,744 animals were used for the first time, including monkeys, dogs, cats, horses, mice, rats and rabbits.

Although this figure is not the highest ever, it demonstrates the industrial scale of animal experiments which inflict pain, suffering or lasting harm, at a time when scientific evidence is mounting against animal experiments.

The report is not only troubling for the sheer enormity of the numbers of animals involved, but also for some of the details:

  • More than a quarter of animals – 26% – underwent ‘moderate’ suffering during experimental procedures.
  • One in 20 animals – 5% – underwent ‘severe’ suffering during experimental procedures.
  • 2,446 beagles were used for the first time, mainly for regulatory purposes
  • 71 cats and 9,498 rabbits were also used.

Animal Aid has campaigned for over four decades against animal experiments. In this time we have explained to the public how monkeys are brain-damaged with chemicals, and how others have electrodes inserted into their brains to record the activity while they, deprived of food or water, are forced to respond to tasks using a touch screen or a joystick.

We have also described how:

  • mice have had cancer cells injected into their hearts
  • pregnant sheep have been partially suffocated
  • dogs have been deliberately bred with genetic flaws.

The report shows that the animal most used in experiments in 2017 was the innocent mouse. 2,780,358 mice were used for the first time in 2017 in a total of 2,781,685 procedures.

Says Jessamy Korotoga, Animal Aid’s Animal Experiments Campaign Manager:

‘The poor mouse is, once again, the most harmed and cruelly treated animal in British laboratories. We know that mice in laboratories may be injected with cancer cells, be given electric shocks, or be surgically mutilated or genetically altered.

‘We also know that they are the most overlooked by those whose duty it is to cater for their basic needs in laboratories. Mice have died from lack of water, lack of food and, astonishingly, from starvation due to overgrown teeth. Each of these mice would have undergone terrible suffering. And this is all for research that doesn’t even help people. It not only fails the animals who are hurt and killed, but also fails patients and their families.’

Notes to Editors

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