The Home Office today announced the latest numbers on the scientific procedures performed on live animals in Great Britain in 2016. The total number of procedures performed went down from 2015 by 5% to 3.94 million procedures. This included 4,932 procedures on 3,530 dogs, 3,569 procedures on 2,440 primates. 3.87 million animals were used overall.

Of the 1.91 million genetically altered animals created or bred, nearly all were mice (86% or 1.65 million procedures). Creation of many different strains of animals with genetic mutations to single genes is the main reason for such high numbers; as they need to be bred in large numbers to maintain the desired mutation. The number of genetically altered animals used in experiments has also continued to rise over the past 10 years, with another 1% increase from 2015 (720,000 procedures) to 2016 (729,000 procedures). Animal Free Research UK is proud to progress human-relevant research without the need to breed or experiment on genetically modified animals.

The percentage of experimental procedures classed as causing a significant (moderate or severe) departure from the animal’s usual state of health and well-being has increased from 33% in 2014, 30% in 2015 to 35% in 2016. However, the obvious way to reduce the suffering of animals in research experiments is to replace their use entirely. The high number of animals still being used indicates that we still have a lot of work to do to push forward change into developing new animal-free technologies.

To contribute to replacing the use of animals in biomedical research, please donate.