National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

Hundreds of thousands of animals experimented on in Scotland

Posted: 8 August 2014. Updated: 8 August 2014


The NAVS is dismayed that a total of 619,798 animals were experimented on in Scotland in 2013, with monkeys, dogs and horses subjected to an increased number of tests. The shocking figures, released in response to a parliamentary question, follow news that animal experiments in Britain climbed to 4.12 million last year – the highest on modern record – despite a reduction pledge from the Government.

The figures show that:

  • experiments on dogs increased 61% to 936
  • primate experiments increased 21% to 702
  • horse experiments increased 10% to 1,887
  • mice were used in 406,502 experiments (12% increase),
  • guinea pigs in 1,390 experiments (5% increase)
  • pigs in 597 experiments (13% increase)
  • birds in 17,224 experiments (19% increase)
  • cats in 11 experiments (450% increase)

Over half of all the animals used (335,116) were genetically modified – a worrying trend that is mirrored throughout Britain. NAVS investigations have revealed a great deal of pain and suffering is caused by breeding GM animals. ‘Donors’ and ‘parents’ are subjected to repeated surgeries, egg collection, implantation and repeated blood and tissue testing. Their babies can suffer severe deformities, painful swellings, fused lungs and premature death. The vast majority of babies are discarded and killed because only 3-5% possess the desired trait.

Nearly 80% of animal experiments in Scotland took place in universities or medical schools. These experiments are mainly curiosity-driven, and cause a great deal of suffering to the animals, the majority of which are killed at the end of the experiment.

NAVS Scottish celebrity supporters, actress Annette Crosbie, and nutritionist and TV personality Gillian McKeith, have spoken about Scottish animal tests. Gillian has expressed her shock and said she is “incredibly saddened”, whilst Annette has said she is “utterly ashamed that nearly 100 facilities in Scotland experiment on animals”, and that the rise suggests Scotland is “stuck in the dark ages”.

Graeme Morrice, Labour MP for Livingston said, “…. it is disappointing that universities in Scotland are still using so many animals in outdated tests. Many of my constituents share my concerns about these high numbers which is why I am joining the NAVS in calling for more progress to be made towards phasing out these unreliable animal tests.”

The Government is currently undertaking a review of Section 24, a ‘secrecy clause’ that prevents wider public and scientific scrutiny of animal tests. There is strong and growing support from scientists, politicians, celebrities and the public to end the secrecy surrounding animal experiments.

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