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

Survey reveals rising public concern about animal research
Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said there should be more research into humane alternatives for animal experiments.
Results highlight public’s desire to curb the use of animals

A survey commissioned by the Government's Office for Life Sciences has revealed rising public concern about animal research and testing.

The Ipsos Mori survey reveals that an increasing number of people (31% in 2014 to 38% in 2018) believe that animals should not be used in scientific research because of the importance they place on animal welfare.

Two-thirds of respondents said they ‘can accept’ some animals being used in experiments on the provisos that ‘it should be for ‘medical research’; that there should be ‘no alternative’ and there should be no unnecessary animal suffering.

The RSPCA said the results ‘demonstrate the need for strong regulation and increased efforts to develop humane alternatives to the use of animals'.

Dr Penny Hawkins, head of RSPCA Research Animals Department, commented: “These results yet again show the public’s ongoing and serious concerns for lab animals - concerns which are shared by the RSPCA.

“The public is entitled to expect strong controls on animal experiments that will be robustly enforced. But in recent years the number of official inspections of labs has plummeted from 1,984 in 2010 to just 966 in 2017. The inspectors are also spending less time visiting laboratories, down from 5,690 hours in 2010 to 3,084 in 2017.

“This is deeply worrying and reflects either a lack of resource or a more ‘hands-off’ approach to regulation. Either way, these developments are disturbing to all those who have legitimate concerns about the suffering of lab animals, and call into question the statements we keep hearing about the UK’s commitment to ensuring the ‘highest welfare standards”.

The survey also highlighted the public’s desire for more to be done to curb the use of animals in research. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said there should be more research into humane alternatives for animal experiments.

Moreover, almost half of people (47%) said that “scientists could do more to reduce the suffering of animals used”.

Penny continued: “Recent years have seen increasing acknowledgement that many experiments using animals are poorly designed and of questionable value, but the use of lab animals remains high. Over a billion animals have been used worldwide over the last decade, around 40 million of these in the UK, with many experiencing ‘severe’ suffering.

“The public is right to ask exactly what has been achieved as a result, and how much of this research is really ‘vital’ or ‘necessary’?”

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

RCVS carries out annual VN CPD audit

News Story 1
 The RCVS is carrying out its annual veterinary nurse CPD audit and has sent out requests for the CPD records of more than 1,100 nurses this week.

Under the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct, nurses are required to carry out at least 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period. This year, 1,130 nurses have been asked to share their records from 2016-2018 to show that they have complied with the requirements.

Earlier this year, the VN Council decided to expedite the referral process for nurses who have not complied with the CPD requirement for three or more years. In such cases nurses will have their records sent to the CPD Referral Group. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Kew Gardens seeking vets for Ethnoveterinary Medicine Project

A new project at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, is seeking the help of vets to find out how plants were traditionally used to treat animals.

The Ethnoveterinary Medicine Project is aiming to record the remaining knowledge from across the British Isles, before it disappears.

Visit the Kew Gardens website for more information or email ethnovet@kew.org to share data.