Tens of thousands of animals died in scientific experiments last year

Joe Gamp
·Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Homeless and ownerless sad dogs are kept in cages.
Figures show animal testing is at its lowest point in over a decade - but animals are still dying from experimental procedures (GETTY)

Tens of thousands of animals died from being used in experimental procedures - despite animal testing being at its lowest level in over a decade.

A new Home Office report titled ‘Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2018’ detailed how testing on animals has declined since 2007.

But unfortunately, of the 1.8 million animals experimented on, 5 percent of them were ‘non recovery’ and died as a result of the procedures.

Scientist watching mice in laboratory
Experiments using mice, rats, and fish account for 93 percent of all procedures using animals (GETTY)

‘Non recovery’ refers to when an animal is “placed under general anaesthetic before the start of the procedure, and is humanely killed without ever regaining consciousness."

Experiments using mice, rats, and fish – used principally because they’re cheap, expendable, easy to handle, and carry less “sentimental value” compared to other species – account for 93 percent of all procedures using animals.

The number of experimental procedures on birds increased from 130,000 to 147,000.

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Protected species – cats, dogs, horses and primates – accounted for 1% (18,000) of experimental procedures.

But animal charity PETA is calling on the Government to move away from experiments on animals.

PETA Science Policy Adviser Dr Julia Baines told Yahoo News: “Animals used in "non-recovery" procedures are imprisoned in cramped, barren conditions and deprived of everything that comes naturally to them, such as walking in the grass, swinging from trees, or bathing in lakes, before being put under anaesthesia.

Laboratory Mouse with Test Tubes
Animal charity PETA is calling on the UK Government to distance itself from experiments on animals (GETTY)

“Then, virtually anything that an experimenter could contrive can be inflicted on them, after which they're either gassed to death, injected with an overdose of anaesthetic, or killed in some other way.

“All of this is done knowing that experimenting on animals is unreliable and can send us down the wrong path. Fundamental species differences as well as animals' constant fear and stress in laboratories make for unpredictable results.

“To understand human disorders and diseases better, the world's most forward-thinking scientists are developing and using methods that supersede the crude use of animals and are actually relevant to human health.”

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