A horrifying 3.79 million animal experiments took place in the UK in 2017. And with the UK set to leave the European Union in March 2019, there are worrying signs that Brexit could lead to an increase in that number.
Here are five shocking facts about animal testing in the UK:
1) Thousands of animal experiments take place in the UK every week
A staggering 3.79 million experiments on animals were completed in the UK in 2017, that’s more than 70,000 animal experiments every week.
2) More animals could face experiments post-Brexit
At a committee meeting in the House of Lords this week, Dr Therese Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, admitted that Brexit could mean an increase in chemical tests on animals in the UK.
3) Over half a million experiments caused animals severe suffering
Nearly 700,000 experiments in 2017 were deemed to have caused moderate or severe suffering to animals. Moderate suffering is described by the Home Office as causing short term moderate pain or distress to animals while severe suffering causes long-lasting extreme pain or distress.
4) Number of experiments on horses rocketed up 18%
The number of experiments on horses has risen 18% from 2016, which means that more than 10,000 experiments on horses took place last year.
5) Number of experiments on cats rose by 4% in 2017
Unbelievably, hundreds of experiments take place on our feline friends in the UK every year.
Our CEO, Michelle Thew, said: “The UK Government really needs to step up and increase efforts to stop cruel and unnecessary animal experiments. The 2017 Home Office figures show that unfortunately we are still a long way from that. We urge the Government to use Brexit as an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that the UK is committed to making difference for animals by reducing the extent of suffering in our laboratories and replacing animals with modern, humane testing methods.”
You can help
In total, 3.79 million experiments were completed on animals in the UK in 2017. The UK clearly has a long way to go before research reflects our nation’s love of animals and we need your help in spreading the word!
You can help animals in laboratories by making your world cruelty-free with these easy steps: