Animal tests rise in Great Britain
Abi Berger science editor, BMJ
The number of scientific procedures carried out on animals in England, Scotland, and Wales rose slightly last year to about 2.66 million, an increase of 0.9% over 1997. With the exception of the 1997 total, the latest figure represents the lowest number of animal procedures since 1955, according to Home Office figures.
Mice, rats, and other rodents were used in 80% of all procedures. Some 73% of all procedures involved normal animals, although 10% of procedures involved a harmful genetic defect. The rest involved genetically modified animals, almost all of them rats and mice. The use of animals with genetic defects has risen by 10%, and the use of animals with genetic modifications has increased by 27%.
The number of procedures that used non-human primates dropped overall by about 6%. Dogs, cats, horses, and primates collectively accounted for less than 1% of the procedures. The dog is a well recognised