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Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2015 — Highlighting an Ongoing Upward Trend in Animal Use and Missed Opportunities for Reduction

Michelle Hudson-Shore

The Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2015 indicate that the Home Office were correct in recommending that caution should be exercised when interpreting the 2014 data as an apparent decline in animal experiments. The 2015 report shows that, as the changes to the format of the annual statistics have become more familiar and less problematic, there has been a re-emergence of the upward trend in animal research and testing in Great Britain. The 2015 statistics report an increase in animal procedures (up to 4,142,631) and in the number of animals used (up to 4,069,349). This represents 1% more than the totals in 2013, and a 7% increase on the procedures reported in 2014. This paper details an analysis of these most recent statistics, providing information on overall animal use and highlighting specific issues associated with genetically-altered animals, dogs and primates. It also reflects on areas of the new format that have previously been highlighted as being problematic, and concludes with a discussion about the use of animals in regulatory research and testing, and how there are significant missed opportunities for replacing some of the animal-based tests in this area.

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Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2014: A New Format, and Hopefully a New Era of Diminishing Animal Experimentation?

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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Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2013:Experimentation Continues to Rise

Michelle Hudson-Shore

The 2013 Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals reveal that the level of animal experimentation in Great Britain continues to rise, with 4.12 million procedures being conducted. The figures indicate that this is almost exclusively a result of the breeding and use of genetically-altered (GA) animals (i.e. genetically-modified animals, plus those with harmful genetic defects). The breeding of GA animals increased to over half (51%) of all the procedures, and GA animals were involved in 61% of all the procedures. Indeed, if these animals were removed from the statistics, the number of procedures would actually have declined by 4%. It is argued that the Coalition Government has failed to address this issue, and, as a consequence, will not be able to deliver its pledge to reduce animal use in science. Recent publications supporting the need to reassess the dominance of genetic alteration are also discussed, as well as the need to move away from the use of dogs as the default second species in safety testing. The general trends in the species used, and the numbers and types of procedures, are also reviewed. Finally, forthcoming changes to the statistics are discussed.

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Letters to the Editor

Various authors

The Use of Second Species in Toxicology Testing
A Response to the ABPI’s Letter to the Editor on the Use of Dogs in Predicting Drug Toxicity in Humans
The CPCSEA has urged the Drug Controller General of India to End the Use of Dogs in Regulatory Testing, in the Light of New Scientific Evidence
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An Analysis of the Home Office Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 2004

Michelle Hudson and Nirmala Bhogal

The 2004 Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals were released by the Home Office in December 2005. They indicate that, for the third year running, there has been a significant increase in the number of laboratory animal procedures undertaken in Great Britain, and that increasing numbers of animals are involved. The overall trends in the use of toxicological and non-toxicological procedures involving animals are described. Particular emphasis is placed on the production and use of genetically modified animals, the production of biological materials, and acute toxicity testing. The use of non-human primates and dogs is also discussed. The implications of these latest statistics are consider
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