Animal testing

July 26, 2011, 11:53 PM GMT+0

Nearly seven in ten members of the British public support the Government taking action to replace and reduce experimentation on animals, our poll on behalf of Humane Society International/UK has revealed.

The latest Home Office statistics show that in 2010, Britain conducted more than 3 million experimental procedures on animals, the majority without any anaesthetic. Some argue testing on animals is necessary for medical progress and others argue is not scientifically reliable and medical progress can be better achieved through alternative techniques.

  • 69% of British people would support the Government taking action to decrease the amount of experimentation on animals, a practice which has increased by one third in the last decade
  • While just 16% would oppose action

All animal procedures are defined in law as having the potential to cause ‘pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm’.

Troy Seidle, director of research and toxicology for Humane Society International/UK, says:

‘Britain often claims to lead on animal welfare, but when it comes to animal experiments we have little to be proud of. Britain is Europe’s second largest user of animals for research, subjecting more dogs and monkeys to experiments than virtually any other EU country.

‘With UK experiments now at their highest in years, we’ve reached a laboratory animal welfare crisis point and it’s clear that UK citizens want to see action to reverse this shameful trend. HSI/UK urges the Government to reduce animal suffering and improve the quality of medical research by replacing animal models with more advanced alternative techniques.’

National reduction strategy

Our poll shows that the majority of the British public wants the Government to take action to reduce and replace animal experiments. In May 2010, the Government pledged a national reduction strategy but no details have yet been published. Nearly 170 cross-party MPs have signed EDM no.435 in support of the reduction pledge.