20th July 2016
Unacceptable levels of animal suffering in UK laboratories in 2015
Number of experiments on monkeys up a shocking 12%
The UK Home Office has today announced a rise in the number of experiments completed on animals during 2015 to a staggering 4.14 million. We have condemned the UK Government for the unacceptable levels of suffering inflicted on animals in British laboratories.
Of the 4.14 million experiments completed during 2015:
- 2.08 million experiments (50%) were conducted on animals.
- 2.06 million experiments (50%) involved 'creating' or breeding genetically altered animals who were not used in further experiments
Animals suffering included mice, rats, fish, birds, horses, dogs, cats and monkeys.
A shocking 30% of experiments (625,000) were assessed by animal researchers and the Home Office as being moderate or severe. These include experiments where the animals experience severe or moderate pain, suffering or distress, and experiments which are likely to cause moderate or severe impairment of the well-being or general condition of the animals.
Other concerns we’re highlighting include:
- Monkeys were used in 3,600 experiments completed in 2015 – up 12% on 2013
- Over 12,000 animal tests were carried out even though there are accepted alternatives which by law should be used instead
- Pigs were used in 5,500 experiments - up 50%
- Fish were used 294,000 experiments – up 14%
- Frogs were used in 10,000 experiments – up 10%
In light of Brexit, we calling on the Government to strengthen the UK’s policies to make meaningful and long-lasting change for the millions of animals used in experiments.
Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International, says: “The public will find the increase in animal suffering in British laboratories shocking and sickening. The UK should be leading the way in reducing animal testing, yet we remain one of the world’s largest users of animals in experiments. This lack of progress is completely unacceptable, and with recent changes in Government, it is disappointing that there is as yet no Minister responsible for animal experiments. We strongly urge the Government not to forget animals in laboratories, and to use Brexit as an opportunity to make a real impact in reducing the numbers of animals used in tests.”