National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

Government figures show rise to over 3 million scientific procedures on animals in 2006

Posted: 24 July 2007


Latest Government figures for 2006 on animal research show a rise to a staggering 3.01 million of scientific procedures on animals in the UK, up 115,800 on 2005 or just under 10,000 a month. In addition the report showed that 133,800 more animals were used in experiments, representing a 5% increase on the previous year.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) said: “The increase in the use of animals in research is out of step with public opinion in the UK and Europe today.[1] It is outrageous that at a time when there are more non-animal methods of research available than ever before, the number of animal experiments in the UK continue to rise, and rise, and rise. The public has shown their distaste for genetically modified (GM) food and products and yet the use of GM animals has more than quadrupled since 1995, accounting for 37% of all procedures in 2006, up by 74,500. These increases are happening as results from animal research are increasingly shown to be unreliable, as well as being unethical and unnecessary.”

Academics now dominate animal experimentation – Universities carry out nearly half (45%) of procedures, with commercial interests such as drug companies, in second place carrying out 35% of procedures. This has been a dramatic shift in recent years. Previously the majority of animal experiments were conducted by drug companies.

Tests on macaque monkeys dropped by 12%, giving hope that the use of this species can be halted. The NAVS currently has a Written Declaration before the European Parliament calling for a phase out of primate tests, which has the backing of 371 MEPs.

2006 statistics on animal research – main points:

  • The number of scientific procedures increased to just over 3.01 million 4% up on 2005 four times the increase from 2004-2005 which was 41,254 (1%). Up by 115,800 it represents just under 10,000 more animal tests a month.
  • 133,800 more animals were used (5% increase) in 2006 in experiments in the UK
  • The use of animals solely for procedures for breeding harmful mutant and genetically modified animals accounted for 1.1 million procedures (37%) in 2006, up 74,500 (7%) from 2005 as part of a continuing trend.
  • Genetically modified (GM) were used in 1.04 million (34%) procedures in 2006, some 77,900 (8%) more than in 2005. The use of GM animals has more than quadrupled since 1995.
  • About 698,400 (67%) GM animals were used to maintain breeding colonies, a similar proportion to last year. An additional 311,200 (30%) were used for fundamental biological research.
  • Number of horses & other equids was 701 up from 294, an increase of 407 or 230%.
  • Use of mice in experiments was up by 106,000 procedures, an increase of 5%.
  • Genetically modified mice: 1,237,563 up from 1,147,000 an increase of 90,563
  • Only 38% of procedures used anaesthesia – i.e. 1,866,200 procedures, 62% of procedures, did not use any anaesthesia.
  • Although numbers of old world primates increased by 440 from 2004-2005, the increase in 2005 was marked at 11%. New world primate procedures stayed more or less level, down by only 13.
  • Use of animals in Appendix 1 on the CITES list or in Annex C.1 to the Council Regulation (EEC) 3626/82 amounted to 84 procedures performed on animals in this category in 2006, all ‘other’ birds.
  • Universities carry out nearly half (45%) of procedures with commercial interests in second place carrying out 35% of procedures.


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