The Home Office in the UK announced that 4.1 million lab procedures were carried out on animals in the UK in 2015. The procedures and the pain inflicted on the animals are classified into “sub-threshold” (13%), “non-recovery” (6%), “mild” (51%), “moderate” (24%) and “severe” (6%).
Of the 4.1 million tests, approx. 2 million are accounted for by the birth of GM animals (mostly mice). 61% of the tests involved mice, with 14% fish and 12% rats. Under 1% were primates but still that extended to 3,600 tests carried out on monkeys. Other animals used were horses, pigs and dogs.
One of the tests involved implanting ‘head-holding’ devices in monkeys and placing them 30cm away from a computer screen in an effort to simulate risky behaviour in gamblers.
Commenting on the report, Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International, said “The UK should be leading the way in reducing animal testing, yet we remain one of the world’s largest users of animals in experiments. We strongly urge the Government not to forget animals in laboratories, and to use Brexit as an opportunity to make a real impact in reducing the numbers of animals used in tests.”