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Scotland and Wales say it’s time for animal tests to end

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Our new poll reveals majority of adults in Scotland and Wales want deadline for phasing out animal tests

The results of an online poll carried out this spring by YouGov for Cruelty Free International [1] show that people in Scotland and Wales believe more should be done to prioritise humane and human-relevant science. 

Our findings reveal that seven out of ten adults living in Scotland and Wales find it unacceptable to use animals for experiments when alternative (non-animal) research methods are available. There are animal tests still being used in Europe, including the UK, for which there are accepted, validated alternatives. These tests should not be permitted to take place

Over three quarters of adults living in Scotland (76%) and Wales (81%) believe alternatives to animal tests should be a funding priority in the UK for science and innovation, and a majority in Scotland (62%) and Wales (70%) want deadlines for phasing out animal tests.  

When asked about use of specific species in research, Scottish and Welsh residents consistently said it was unacceptable to tests on dogs (68% in Scotland and 76% in Wales), cats (66% in Scotland and 74% in Wales) and monkeys (65% in Scotland and 74% in Wales). Despite public concerns, the UK remains one of the top users of primates and dogs in experiments in Europe.  

Our Director of Public Affairs, Kerry Postlewhite, says: “Like others across the UK, the Scottish and Welsh public strongly supports prioritising investment in the development of animal free research. A clear majority of residents of Scotland and Wales agree that deadlines should be set to phase out animal tests and that non-animal methods should be prioritised in science and innovation funding.  

More and more countries are committing to phasing out animal experiments. We hope that the UK government will listen to citizens and set out a clear roadmap with agreed milestones, targets and timetables for ending reliance on outdated and unreliable animal experiments.” 

Tragically, the UK remains Europe’s biggest user of animals in research. The most recent Home Office figures published show a staggering 3.4 million animal tests were completed in the UK in 2019. UK animal tests have gone down by only 9% over the last 10 years, on average less than 1% per year. 

Thank you to everyone in Scotland and Wales who used our email tool to ask their candidates in Thursday’s elections to speak out for animals in laboratories

[1] For Scotland the total sample size was 1010 adults living in Scotland across multiple demographics, including age, gender and work status. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 11th March 2021. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+). For Wales the total sample size was 1005 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 12th March 2021.  The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+). The survey was carried out online. 

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