Nearly 3 Million Animals Tormented in Experiments in 2021, New Data Reveals

Nearly 3 Million Animals Tormented in Experiments in 2021, New Data Reveals

London – Figures from the Home Office published today reveal that 3.06 million scientific procedures were conducted on animals in Great Britain last year, using nearly 3 million individual animals for the first time – signifying a complete lack of action by the government in working to replace animal tests. In response, PETA is urging the government to adopt the Research Modernisation Deal (RMD), commit to ending all experiments on animals, and redirect resources towards innovative, human-relevant methods. The group is also asking the public to sign its European citizens’ initiative, a campaign calling on the European Union to phase out animal testing.

Animal tests often fail to predict reliable results in humans, yet animals still may be legally bled; poisoned; deprived of food, water, or sleep; subjected to psychological distress; deliberately infected with diseases; subjected to brain damage; paralysed; exposed to skin or eye irritants; burned; gassed; force-fed; electrocuted; and killed. In May, PETA rushed a letter to the University of East Anglia after discovering it was conducting a cruel experiment in which mice were force-fed faeces in an attempt to reverse ageing in the gut, eye, and brain.

“Animal experiments are not just painful, invasive, and cruel but also bad science,” says PETA Science Policy Manager Dr Julia Baines. “PETA is urging the government to embrace superior non-animal research methods and bring the number of archaic animal tests down to zero.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – notes that progress is being made towards ending animal testing. Following discussions with PETA entity scientists, 15 companies and three universities declared they will not use the forced swim test (FST), in which small animals are put into inescapable beakers filled with water and must swim in an attempt to find an escape, purportedly to provide insight into human depression. Last year, a major publication identified the FST as a poor model that could rule out the discovery of effective new drugs for humans.

The RMD provides a detailed strategy for freeing up funds for available animal-free research methods that actually stand to help humans. The roadmap includes immediately eliminating the use of animals in areas in which they have already been shown to be poor surrogates for humans, critically reviewing other areas of research to determine where animal use can be ended, and applying a robust system to ensure the most up-to-date, human-relevant methods are used.

PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]