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Facts and figures on animal testing

Millions of animals are used and killed in the name of progress every year.

Globally.

  • We estimate that at least 192.1 million animals were used for scientific purposes worldwide in 2015. This is the world’s most reliable figure to date.
  • This includes nearly 80 million experiments on animals as well as millions of other animals who are killed for their tissues, used to breed genetically modified animal strains and bred but not used.
  • We estimate that the top 10 animal testing countries in the world are China (20.5 million) Japan (15.0 million), the United States (15.6 million), Canada (3.6 million), Australia (3.2 million), South Korea (3.1 million), the United Kingdom (2.6 million), Brazil (2.2 million), Germany (2.0 million) and France (1.9 million), in that order.
  • In 2015, an estimated 207,724 tests using dogs and 158,780 tests using monkeys were conducted.
  • The top 10 users of dogs were: China, the United States, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany and India.
  • The top 10 users of monkeys were: the United States, China, Japan, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, India and South Korea.

Europe

  • The latest report from the European Commission shows that 12.3 million experiments were conducted on animals across the EU in 2018.
  • The 2018 figures now include data from Norway, which was not included in previous statistical reports. They still include the UK as they had not left the EU in 2018. If Norway is excluded from the 2018 figures, the total number of uses of animals is 10.6 million, which represents a 2% decrease compared to 2017.
  • Despite increased public demand for a reduction in animal research, there has been little change (approximately 1% year on year) in the last 20 years.
  • According to the EU reports, the UK conducts the highest number of animal experiments in Europe (2.4 million in 2018). Germany is the second highest user completing 2.1 million experiments in 2018, while France is third with 1.9 million experiments that year.
  • There were 25,722 uses of dogs in 2018 with the UK (4,545 uses), France (4,219 uses) and Germany (3,979 uses) being the top 3 users.
  • There was a total of 11,194 uses of monkeys across the EU in 2018 with France (3,510 uses), Germany (3,278 uses) and the UK (3,207 uses) being the top 3 users.
  • Out of the total number of experiments conducted in the EU in 2018, 40% were for basic research purposes while only 16% were required by regulators.
  • Experiments are still being conducted for regulatory purposes in the EU where there are valid non-animal methods available. In 2018, there were 4,121 skin irritation tests, 880 eye irritation tests, 39,646 skin sensitisation tests, 30,453 pyrogenicity tests and 806,435 batch potency tests (a large proportion of which were likely to be tests for botox products). See more - Replace Animal Tests: The EU RAT List | Cruelty Free International

UK

  • According to the latest Government figures, a total of 2.9 million experiments were completed in Great Britain during 2020.
  • Of these, 1.4 million (50%) related to the creation or breeding of genetically altered animals who were not used in further experiments.
  • The remaining 1.4 million (50%) were actual experiments on animals, which included 407,735 animals (28%) who were subjected to experiments that even the researchers considered had caused them moderate or severe suffering.
  • Out of the total number of experiments conducted in the UK, only 11% were required by regulators.
  • 54% of all experiments were conducted in universities, often using taxpayers’ funds.
  • A total of 4,340 experiments were conducted on dogs in 2020, including 4,270 experiments on beagles and 70 experiments on other breeds.
  • A total of 2,393 experiments were conducted on monkeys in 2020, including 104 experiments on marmosets and tamarins, 2,069 experiments on cynomolgus macaques and 220 experiments on rhesus macaques.
  • In 2020, 83% of monkeys used for the first time in experiments were imported from Africa or Asia.
  • There were 301 experiments on substances used to create household products. This is an increase from 67 tests declared in 2019.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of skin sensitisation tests on mice to 452 tests in 2020, compared to 95 tests in 2019.
  • Tests in other key areas where there are validated alternatives have dropped significantly but animals are still being used: seven eye irritation tests, 11 skin irritation tests and 68,108 batch potency tests (a large proportion of which were likely to be tests for botox products) were conducted in 2020. See more - Replace Animal Tests: The EU RAT List | Cruelty Free International
The science relating to animal experiments can be extremely complicated and views often differ. What appears on this website represents Cruelty Free International expert opinion, based on a thorough assessment of the evidence.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANIMAL TESTING

Our History

subtitle: Established in 1898, Cruelty Free International is firmly rooted in the early social justice movement and has a long and inspiring history.

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Types of animal testing

subtitle: Animal testing is carried out in a wide range of areas, including biological research, and testing medicines and chemicals.

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What is animal testing?

subtitle: Animals used in laboratories are deliberately harmed, not for their own good, and are usually killed at the end of the experiment.

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