Comment - Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2012:Another Increase in Experimentation — Genetically-altered Animals Dominate Again
The Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2012 reveal that the level of animal experimentation in Great Britain continues to rise, with just over 4.1 million procedures being started in that year. Despite the previous year’s indication that the dominance of the production and use of genetically-altered (GA, i.e. genetically-modified animals plus animals with harmful genetic defects) animal might be abating, it returned with a vengeance in 2012. Breeding increased from 43% to 48% of all procedures, and GA animals were involved in 59% of all the procedures. Indeed, if the breeding of these animals were removed from the statistics, the total number of procedures would actually decline by 2%. In order to honour their pledge to reduce animal use in science, the Coalition Government will have to address this issue. The general trends in the species used, and the numbers and types of procedures, are also reviewed. Finally, forthcoming changes to the statistics are discussed.