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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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New Home Office Statistics: procedures increase again

FRAME is disappointed that yet again the Home Office statistics show an increase in the number of scientific procedures carried out on animals.


miceAlthough there have been reductions in the use of some species the total has gone up by 3 per cent. Again this is largely due to the number involved in breeding genetically modified (GM) and harmful mutants (HM). 


The trend until 10 years ago was downwards but the introduction of the use of GM animals has led to a steady increase for the last decade and the current figures are in line with that. There were a million more procedures in 2010 than in 2000.


Species showing a reduction include cats (-32%), guinea pigs(-29%), pigs(-15%), rabbits(-10%), rats(-9%), horses(-5%), and dogs(-2%).  Procedures on mice, birds and fish have all risen.  (All comparisons with 2009.) 


MonkeyHowever, there has also been a worrying increase in the number procedures on non-human primates. Procedures on new world monkeys (the group including marmosets, lemurs and capuchins) have increased by 78 percent.


FRAME is deeply concerned about the use of non-human primates in research because their sentience and social nature means that the costs to them of experimentation and captivity are very high.


FRAME will comment further on the latest statistics when our scientific staff have had the opportunity to study them in detail. The full statistics report can be found here.


Archived July 25