Shocking numbers of animals harmed in laboratories in Great Britain

Posted on the 30th June 2022

A government report published today reveals how more than 2.9 million animals were used in more than 3 million experiments in Great Britain in 2021.

The huge majority of animals, those who don’t die during the experiments, would be killed at the end. Some will be used in more than one experiment. The species used in these experiments include dogs, horses, monkeys, rats and mice.

The most shocking elements are:

  • 2,511 beagles were used
  • 2,204 monkeys were used
  • 11,758 LD50-type tests were conducted. Animal Aid is currently funding a human cell-based replacement to the archaic LD50
  • 194,852 rats were used –  rats are intelligent, inquisitive and can enjoy being tickled and playing with human care-givers. Yet almost 195,000 of them were used in laboratories last year, suffering unimaginable harms.

The figure represents an increase of 6% which is especially shocking as there are more reliable and human-relevant ways to further the boundaries of knowledge, to put Britain at the forefront of cutting-edge science and to future-proof the careers of young and aspiring scientists. Animal experiments are notorious for having little relevance to human health and disease.

This rise in the number of experiments occurs alongside grave concern about the framework surrounding these experiments – the annual reports from the unit which oversees animal experiments have still not been published for 2019 or 2020. These reports outline cases of non-compliance such as animals dying from a lack of food and water, or experiments being conducted without authority, so are very important to understand the reality of animals’ lives in laboratories.

Says Animal Aid’s Jessamy Korotoga:

“This rise in the number of animals subjected to unspeakable horrors is shocking, doubly so when there are more relevant, cutting-edge technologies available to increase the nation’s scientific profile and to better protect human health.

Animal Aid call on university researchers and others involved in animal experiments to look at their research portfolios and to move away from outdated and unreliable animal experiments and to instead invest in human-relevant, cutting-edge research.”


For more information or for interview: or 07864 830589.

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