regulatory testing

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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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The Use of Non-Human Primates in Biological and Medical Research: Evidence Submitted by FRAME to the Academy of Medical Sciences/Medical Research Council/Royal Society/Wellcome Trust Working Group

Nirmala Bhogal, Michelle Hudson, Michael Balls and Robert D. Combes

The Academy of Medical Sciences, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust are undertaking a study into the use of non-human primates in biological and medical research. An independent working group of scientific experts, led by Sir David Weatherall, aims to produce a report summarising the findings of this study, early in 2006. The trends in primate research, and the nature and effects of recent and proposed changes in the global use of non-human primates in research, will be investigated. The associated ethical, welfare and regulatory issues, and the role and impact of the Three Rs principles of refinement, reduction and replacement will also be reviewed. As part of this study, a call for evidence was made. The evidence submitted by FRAME emphasised that the use of non-human primates for fundamental research or for regulatory testing still fails to take into account the fact that, although non-human primates are anatomically and physiologically similar to humans, they are not necessarily relevant models for studies on human disease or human physiology. FRAME continues to believe that we have a duty to ensure that these animals are not used without overwhelming evidence that they are the only suitable and elevant models for use in work of undeniable significance.
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