Michelle Hudson-Shore

The Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2014 reports a welcome decline in animal experimentation in the UK. However, caution has to be exercised when interpreting these most recent figures, due to the significant changes made to satisfy the requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU as to what information is reported and how it is reported. Comparisons to the figures and trends reported in previous years is difficult, so this paper focuses on the specifics of the current report, providing information on overall animal use and highlighting specific issues associated with genetically-altered animals, fish and primates. There is a detailed discussion of the extent of the changes, commenting on the benefits and disadvantages of the new format, in areas such as severity of procedures, legislation and techniques of special interest. It also considers the consequences of the changes on the effective monitoring of laboratory animal use, the openness and transparency regarding the impacts of animal use, and the implementation of Three Rs initiatives. In addition, suggestions for further improvements to the new format are made to the Home Office.

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