Terrible toll of animals harmed in British laboratories revealed today

Posted on the 18th July 2019

Today, a government report reveals how more than 3.4 million animals were used for the first time in experiments, in Great Britain, in 2018. The animals, including monkeys, horses, cats, mice, dogs and fish, are the victims of an industry built on flawed science and immeasurable suffering.

The report gives no meaningful detail of what happens to the animals. It is full of charts, graphs and statistics which belie the fear, terror and suffering that the animals will have undergone. Despite the lack of meaningful detail, we know that: 

  • 5% of the experiments were classed as ‘severe’ – meaning that the animals underwent the most terrible suffering permitted. Examples of this level of severity, according to the EU Directive concerned with animal experiments, include ‘toxicity testing where death is the end-point, or fatalities are to be expected and severe pathophysiological states are induced’ or ‘complete isolation for prolonged periods of social species e.g. dogs and non-human primates’.
  • There was an increase in the number of monkeys used, of more than 11% from 2,215 to 2,472 (257 animals)
  • The number of beagles used has increased from 2,446 to 2,867, an increase of 17.2% 
Earlier this year, Animal Aid highlighted experiments from recent years which show the true horror of what animals can suffer. These experiments involved: 
Said Jessamy Korotoga, Campaign Manager at Animal Aid: 
‘Year after year we are told the top-line figure of animals used in experiments, which hides a truly astounding amount of pain, suffering, distress, terror and death. We are talking about more than 3.4 million lives, many full of fear and pain, cut brutally short all because of a lazy reliance on outdated science. 
‘Animal Aid is calling on all of those involved in animal research to see the futility of this work and turn their hands to human-relevant, humane science instead. This would benefit not only human patients and their families, but millions of animals, too.’ 
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