We want lessons of COVID19 to accelerate move from animal testing towards humane and human-relevant research
We are calling for increased efforts to replace animals in UK laboratories following the release of the UK animal testing statistics for 2019.
The latest Home Office figures published today show a distressing 3.4 million animal tests were completed in the UK in 2019. This represents a decrease of just 3% from 2018. It means over a ten-year period UK animal tests have gone down only 9% (by 323,000 from 3,724,726 in 2010).
The British public are fed up with the continued high level of animal suffering in UK laboratories.
With growing public opposition to animal experiments in the UK and no robust scientific evidence that animal tests reliably predict human safety and efficacy, we renew our call to UK researchers to use recent fast tracking of coronavirus vaccine trials to chart a path away from suffering inflicted on thousands of animals in UK laboratories - including monkeys, dogs, cats, rabbits and mice.
Key concerns raised by Cruelty Free International following the release of today’s statistics:
- In 2019, a total of 3.4 million experiments were completed on animals. Approximately 1.67 million (49%) were related to the 'creation' and breeding of genetically altered animals.
- Of the severity assessments undertaken for experiments completed in 2019, 18% (630,511) were assessed as having caused moderate or severe suffering.
- Although tests on dogs, primates and cats went down, experiments completed on horses (10,512) were up on the previous year, while experiments completed on guinea pigs (6,931) went up 8% from 2018.
Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International, says: “The British public are fed up with the continued high level of animal suffering in UK laboratories. As a nation of animal lovers, the UK should be doing much more to significantly reduce animal research.
“There is no robust scientific proof that animal tests reliably predict human safety and efficacy. In fact, over 90% of new drugs that appear safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials. COVID19 has shown we can proceed to human trials with minimal animal data. We now urge UK researchers to focus on modern humane and human-relevant methods to develop medication and to test substances.”