Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Figures show five per cent fall in UK animal experiments
The majority of experimental procedures in 2016 involved mice.

Genetically altered animals account for almost 50 per cent of procedures

Home Office figures show there has been a five per cent decrease in the number of scientific procedures on animals.

According to the annual statistical report 2016, released on Thursday (13 July), the total number of procedures fell from 4.14 million to 3.94 million - a reduction of 206,000 compared with 2015.

Of the total figure, 51 per cent were experimental procedures and 49 per cent related to the creation of genetically altered animals.

Humane Society International/UK has criticised the figures, stating that they expose the government’s failure to curb “out of control” animal breeding.

“We’ve witnessed this trend toward out-of-control breeding of genetically modified animals developing for more than a decade, and have repeatedly called on the Home Office to take action,” said Troy Seidle, HSI senior director for research & toxicology.

“Despite all assurances of the UK government’s commitment to reducing the use of animals in labs, the numbers keep going up, rendering the government’s current strategy a qualified failure.”

Between 2007 and 2016, the total number of procedures increased by 23 per cent. The rise in the breeding of genetically altered animals accounted for this rise.

Of the 2.02 million experimental procedures in 2016, the majority involved mice (60 per cent); fish (14 per cent); rats (12 per cent) and birds (7 per cent). Experimental procedures involving specially protected species (i.e horses, dogs, cats and non-human primates) accounted for 0.9 per cent (18,000) of procedures in 2016.

“The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world and we are completely committed to the proper regulation of the use of animals in scientific research,” said a Home Office spokesperson.

“This research helps us to ensure that medicines are safe to use and to find treatments for cancer and other diseases, among a range of other benefits.

“Our legislation provides a rigorous regulatory system that ensures animal research and testing is carried out only where no practicable alternative exists and under controls which keep suffering to an absolute minimum.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Outreach work in Mongolia aims to learn about Pallas’s cat

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is supporting work in Mongolia to help improve understanding of the Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul). The society is working with local communities to raise awareness and learn more about how people interact with the cats. The aim is to gather knowledge on the species and the threats it faces, to inform global conservation efforts.  

News Shorts
New canine health awareness week launches

The Kennel Club has launched Canine Health Week (13-19 November) to raise awareness of the most common health issues in dogs. Canine Health Week is set to become an annual initiative to highlight resources, research and information to make a difference to dog health.

According to clinical veterinary data from VetCompass, the five most common health issues are ear canal disease, dental disease, anal sac impaction, overgrown nails and arthritis. It is hoped the awareness week will help to familiarise dog owners with common conditions, to better meet the healthcare needs of their dogs.