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Animal experiments on dogs in the UK jumps by 16% to nearly 5,000 a year

Species such as mice, rats, and fish are afforded less legal protection than the meagre ones afforded cats, dogs, horses, and primates, despite having the same capacity to suffer.

JOE PINKSTONE: ‘Animal testing on dogs is on the rise in the UK with a 16 per cent rise in the number of experiments done on canines in 2018 – taking the figure to almost 5,000. Animal testing as a whole has decreased by seven per cent last year and 2018 represents the lowest level of live animal tests since 2007. But there was a total of 3.52 million procedures still involving living animals.

A total of 4,481 experiments were done on dogs, with beagles the most popular breed, used in 4,314 procedures. A staggering majority (93 per cent) of all experiments were conducted on mice, fish and rats. The majority (71 per cent) of experimental procedures that used dogs were for regulatory procedures designed to test the safety of products and devices for human medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine.

Cats, dogs, horses and primates are all classified as specially protected species and account for 1 per cent (18,000) of experimental procedures. The number of experiments with cats decreased by 20 per cent, and the number on primates increased by 8 per cent. Around half (1.8 million) of all procedures were experimental, while the other 1.72 million were for the creation and breeding of genetically altered animals, data from the Home Office revealed…

‘These staggering figures paint a grim picture of an outdated system, in which experimenters repeatedly drug, poison, surgically mutilate, and ultimately kill certain animals because they’ve always done things this way,’ commented PETA Science Policy Adviser Dr Julia Baines… ‘Species such as mice, rats, and fish are afforded less legal protection than the meagre ones afforded cats, dogs, horses, and primates – despite having the same capacity to suffer – so experiments in which they’re used receive even less oversight…

Dr Lindsay Marshall. senior scientist at Humane Society International, said: ‘Despite staggering advances in scientific technology, medical research in Britain remains irrationally wedded to broken animal models. ‘If our government is truly committed to advancing medical progress for its citizens, and to reducing the use of animals in laboratories… ‘The UK government has a moral obligation to protect animals and advance human health by switching from animal experiments to today’s technology such as organs-on-chips’.’  SOURCE… 


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