National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

Differences between mice and humans

. Updated: 17 January 2013


Rodents account for over 80% of animals used in experiments in UK laboratories - more than half use mice and about a fifth rats.

Even identification of rodents is brutal - holes punched through ears, or toes and tails cut off. Used in the widest variety of procedures, including safety testing, surgery, cardiovascular, and cancer research, these animals suffer terribly. Mice are used extensively for cancer research, although they generally suffer from different types of cancer to people. Nude mice are bred with a depressed immune system making them highly susceptible to cancer. A newer development is the ‘oncomouse’ (onco = cancer) - genetic engineers have created animals that automatically develop cancer.

What a Waste

  • Mice are unable to vomit.
  • The mechanisms of mucus secretion in the airways of mice are very different from those of people.
  • The venom of a species of frog, used to make arrows to poison humans, is an effective painkiller in mice.
  • After a project using 18,000 mice, Teropterin was used to treat acute childhood leukaemia; but the children died more quickly than if they had not been treated.

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