AR-News: (UK) Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals

AR-News AR-News at
Fri Jul 18 16:39:09 EDT 2003

> of experiments since 1994
> Today (July 18) the Home Office published its annual statistics for UK
> animal experiments in 2002 revealing a 4% rise in the number of procedures
> (to 2.73 million experiments) and a 3.3% rise in the number of animals
> used. This is the largest number of animal experiments in the UK since
> 1994. 
> The government was immediately criticised by leading anti-vivisection
> campaigners the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) for
> its "cynical attempts to cheat a concerned public out of the truth". The
> BUAV this morning sent a letter to Home Office Minister Caroline Flint
> challenging her to publish the full statistics including the "missing
> millions" of animals who are bred for the vivisection industry but killed
> as 'surplus to requirements'. 
> Summary of increases or figures of note:
> *	3.3% rise in number of animals
> *	4% rise in number of experiments
> *	11% increase in number of procedures using genetically modified
> animals
> *	0.2% decrease in experiments on non-human primates, however there
> was an increase of 13% in the number of macaques used, representing 341
> extra macaques 
> *	3.3% increase in the number of dogs used since 2001 (17% rise since
> 2000, equal to 1000 more dogs)
> *	43% increase in experiments for household products  
> *	34% increase in experiments for food additives
> *	29% increase in agricultural toxicology experiments
> *	45% increase in use of techniques causing physical trauma
> *	5% increase in experiments with no anaesthetic (60% of procedures
> conducted with no anaesthetic)
> *	10% increase in fundamental biological research (curiosity driven)
> *	Government failed to meet its pledge of increasing the number of
> Home Office Inspectors by five (only increased by three)
> Wendy Higgins, Campaigns Director for the BUAV, says:
> "This shocking rise, and the alarming increase in the use of genetically
> modified animals, is a shameful reflection of this government's utter
> failure to tackle the controversial issue of animal experiments. Nearly
> three million animals still suffer painful and lethal experiments in UK
> labs, there is a huge public debate about whether vivisection is ethically
> or scientifically justified, the UK public are legally denied access to
> detailed information about what goes on and the government has no agenda
> for change whatsoever. The government is stuck in a policy vacuum on
> vivisection, meanwhile the lab animal death toll continues to go up and
> up."
> Even with this rise, the statistics published each year by the Home Office
> do not paint an honest picture and are a cynical attempt to cheat a
> concerned public out of the truth. The BUAV has today sent a challenge to
> the Home Office to publish the true figures.  Current annual government
> statistics do not include the missing millions of animals bred for
> vivisection but killed as 'surplus to requirements' or as 'non-conforming
> products'; those killed purely for blood, tissue or organ products as well
> as in military experiments or animals enduring long term experiments that
> straddle more than one year. If the hidden suffering of these animals was
> included in the statistics, the figure would increase by millions and the
> British public would be shocked to see the true number of animals
> suffering for the UK vivisection industry."

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