Animal research

Ten organizations account for half of all animal research in Britain in 2021

Today, 30 June 2022, Understanding Animal Research (UAR) published a list of the ten organizations that carry out the most animal procedures – those used in medical, veterinary and scientific research – in Britain. These statistics are freely available on the organizations’ websites as part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and openness regarding the use of animals in research.

This list coincides with the publication of the Home Office report on statistics of scientific procedures on live animals in Britain in 2021.

These ten organizations performed 1,496,006 procedures, i.e. 49% or nearly half of the 3,056,243 procedures performed on animals for scientific research in Great Britain in 2021*. Among these 1,496,006 procedures, over 99% were performed on mice, fish and rats and 83% were rated as causing pain similar to, or less than, an injection.

The ten organizations are listed below with the total number of procedures they performed in 2021. Each organization’s name refers to its animal research webpage, which includes more detailed statistics. This is the seventh consecutive year that organizations have come together to release their collective statistics and examples of their research.

Organization Number of procedures (2021)
University of Oxford 207 192
University of Cambridge 199 203
UCL 185 278
The Francis Crick Institute 183,363
Edinburgh University 172 100
Medical Research Council 169,989
King’s College London 111,750
University of Glasgow 103,271
University of Manchester 87,535
imperial college london 76,325
TOTAL 1,496,006

63 organizations have published their 2021 animal research statistics

The UAR has also produced a listing of 63 organizations in the UK who have publicly shared their 2021 animal research statistics. This includes organizations that conduct and/or fund animal research.

All organizations are committed to respecting the “3Rs” of replacement, reduction and refinement. This means avoiding or replacing the use of animals wherever possible; minimize the number of animals used per experiment and optimize the animal experiment to improve animal welfare. However, as institutions expand and conduct more research, the total number of animals used may increase even if fewer animals are used per study.

All organizations listed are signatories to the UK Animal Research Transparency Concordat, a commitment to be more open about the use of animals in scientific, medical and veterinary research in the UK. More than 125 organizations have signed up to the Concordat, including UK universities, medical research charities, research funding bodies, learned societies and commercial research organisations.

Wendy Jarrett, managing director of Understanding Animal Research, which developed the Transparency Concordat, said:

“Animal research remains a small but vital part of the search for new drugs, vaccines and treatments for humans and animals. We know that the majority of the UK public accepts that animals are necessary for this research, but it is important that organizations using animals in research maintain the public’s trust in them. By providing this level of information on the number of animals used and the experience of these animals, as well as details on the medical breakthroughs that have resulted from this research, these Concordat signatories are helping the public to form their own opinion about the way they use animals in scientific research in Britain.

Maria Kamper, director of the University of Manchester Animal Research Unit, said:

“We are proud to be one of the first UK institutions to embrace openness and transparency regarding our animal research. A virtual tour, facts, figures, project summaries and case studies, and much more are available for free on our website.

“We are also proud of the high ethical standards with which we carry out our work and the way we care for our animals. Although we are strongly committed to replacing animals where possible with alternatives, reducing their numbers and refining the work we do to always improve their well-being, animals still play an extremely important role in research. scientific.

“Our research involving animals helps us understand how biological systems work so we can find ways to treat disease and understand not just human health, but animal health as well. This is why animal research remains an essential means for scientists to develop new drugs and advanced medical technologies.

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