Saturday, 29 October 2016

Decline In UK Animal Experiments

Fewer animals were used in experiments in the U.K. during 2014 compared with 2013 (these are the latest statistics, released in January 2016 by the Home Office). The decline is 6 percent, with some 3.8 million procedures undertaken in 2014.

The primary users of animals for research is the university sector, with fewer animals used by pharmaceutical companies (many tests traditionally involving animals have been replaced by cell-based assays).

With the university sector, the main use of animals is with cancer research. In the past, it was common for animals to be used for toxicological purposes, but this type of poison screening has declined.

There remains a need to test new and experimental drugs on animals before going to human clinical trial. This does not always work out, as the recent events in France showed, when an experimental drug was tested on 90 people. Here one person died and four are in a serious condition (as reported by The Latest News.)

Animal testing in the U.K. is controlled and to practice requires the issuing of a Home Office licence, as per The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. This applies to any procedure likely to cause that animal pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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