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REPORT: UK conducts the most experiments on animals in Europe, 1.8 million tests done every year

The EU performed a total of 9,581,741 experiments on animals in 2017. Of these, 1,885,933 (19%) procedures were in the UK. Germany is the second highest offender, while France is third.

JOE PINKSTONE: ‘The United Kingdom conducted more experiments on animals than any other country in Europe in 2017, a damning report has revealed. A comprehensive landmark review from the European Commission provided detailed animal testing statistics for each member state for the first time under new legislation… It revealed a total of 1,885,933 procedures were performed on animals in the UK in 2017. This figure accounts for 19 per cent of all of the EU which saw 9,581,741 total experiments in 2017… Germany is the second highest user, while France is third… The total number was 9,782,570 in 2015 and 10,028,498 in 2016.

The most commonly used animals were mice and rats and on average, two per cent of all animals used have been reused, but this rises for large mammals. In the EU, there are strict regulations in place for how many times an animal can be used in animal testing. For example, the report reveals 71 per cent of sheep are reused as well as 44 per cent of cats and 36 per cent of dogs. It is unclear for how long, or how many times, these animals are tested upon… The report also reveals how severe the animal reaction was to the experiments they were subjected to.

Six per cent (621,054) of all experiments in the EU in 2017 resulted in non-recovery of the animal. Over three years, this total reaches almost 1.85million animals. This is defined as when an experiment occurs under general anaesthetic and the information is collected before the anaesthetic is increased and the animal subsequently dies. Eleven per cent of the 2017 experiments, more than a million (1,023,138), resulted in a ‘severe’ reaction. These can be similar to the forced swim test where a mouse is placed in a beaker of water for up to six minutes. It is pulled out if it begins to sink…

‘Few experiments on animals – no matter how painful or irrelevant – are prohibited by law,’ says PETA Science Policy Adviser Dr Julia Baines. ‘Yet their systemic failure to benefit humans in the areas of neurodegenerative disease, mental health disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and more is well documented. ‘PETA is calling on the EU to reconsider our reliance on these archaic procedures and champion the funding and development of humane and human-relevant technology. ‘This is where the future of science and human health clearly lies.’ Animal Defenders International agrees… they say the majority of animal testing can be replaced with the use of databases, sophisticated analytical techniques, organ-on-a chip models, micro-dosing, computer simulations and modelling, and human tissue and 3D cell cultures’.  SOURCE…


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