The BUAV has today criticised the unacceptable 58% increase in the number of experiments on animals in Wales during 2012, with 77% of the experiments carried out without anaesthetic. The total number of experiments was 85,892, which is 31,562 more than in 2011. The figures have come to light following questions tabled by Jonathan Evans, Conservative MP for Cardiff North.
The BUAV can reveal that the majority of experiments in Wales take place within universities. According to requests made by the BUAV in October 2013 under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000, the number of animals used in experiments at Welsh universities has continued to increase at an alarming rate since 2011.
Based on the FOI responses from January 2012 to December 2012, a total of 83,455 animals were used in universities in Wales including the University of Cardiff (61,181 animals), University of Swansea (21,202 animals) and University of Aberystwyth (1,702 animals).
Animal species used throughout the universities include cats, guinea pigs, cattle, sheep, birds, fish, mice and rats. Recent published animal research from Welsh researchers includes:
Michelle Thew, BUAV Chief Executive said:“The BUAV is deeply disappointed that over 85,000 experiments on animals were conducted in Wales in 2012. This is an alarming increase of 58% on the previous year which is as entirely unnecessary as it is unacceptable. Animal experiments are an issue of strong public concern and we believe the people of Wales will be shocked to learn of this large increase. The BUAV has been fundamental in exposing the cruelty involved in experimentation at leading institutions and we will continue to do so until we see the UK Government fulfil its pledge to reduce animal experiments. We need to see meaningful and lasting changes for animals in laboratories.”
During 2012, there were 48,850 mice used, 4206 rats, 237 guinea pigs, 465 sheep, 454 birds, 153 amphibians, 30,942 fish and 2 cats. Over 24,000 experiments were carried out on genetically-modified animals.