PETA Statement: Annual Statistics On Animal Experiments

For Immediate Release:
21 July 2008

Alistair Currie 020 7357 9229, ext 245; [email protected]
Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – Home Office figures released today show that a total of 3.125 million animals were used in UK experiments in 2007, an increase of nearly 6 per cent since 2006 at a time when the efficacy and cruelty of animal tests are a matter of growing public concern. The rise in the use of dogs and genetically manipulated animals gives particular cause for concern.

Animals in laboratories are still being electro-shocked, infected with diseases that are unnatural to them, burned, poisoned and surgically mutilated in experiments that, according to scientists’ own reports, cannot reliably predict human responses. US Food and Drug Administration figures show that 92 per cent of drugs which pass animal trials are found to be unsafe or ineffective in human trials and never reach the market.

This is a backwards trend, considering that animal experiments in the UK were reduced by half between the 1970s and 1997. Since 2000, however, numbers have been rising, and this is the longest period of sustained increase since the 1960s. Today’s figures show that experiments on dogs and genetically modified animals have both increased since 2006. Nearly 80,000 animals were used in lethal poisoning tests, while nearly 30,000 were subject to procedures on their brains. One year ago, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Europe (PETA) released an exclusive public opinion poll conducted by YouGov showing that 80 per cent of the GB public is in favour of some form of a ban on experiments which cause suffering to animals.

“The last time these figures were rising this consistently, Harold Wilson was the Prime Minister and computers were the size of small buildings. Technology has changed, and policy must change too. The Government has the power to modernise away from the old animal tests, but despite public concern, it is instead washing its hands of the problem”, says PETA spokesperson Alistair Currie. “What the Government needs to do to show an interest in animal welfare and Britons’ health is ban tests on animals in favour of modern, more reliable and relevant non-animal methods.”

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