The BUAV has uncovered the use of kittens in experiments at Cardiff University. The experiment is reported in the Wales on Sunday newspaper as part of an investigation by the paper on the rise in the number of animal experiments in universities in Wales, especially at Cardiff University. The paper has revealed that almost 200,000 animals – including cats, mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, frogs and fish – have been used in experiments in the past four years. Cardiff University alone used 191,549 animals (96% of all animal tests at Welsh universities). The number of experiments carried out at the institution has risen 13% since 2006.
In the experiment, nineteen kittens, just two-six months old, were subjected to invasive surgery under anaesthesia in which their windpipes were sliced, catheters were inserted into blood vessels and parts of their brains exposed in order to implant electrodes. The fate of these kittens was not stated. In 2009, Cardiff University was responsible for using 46 cats, which accounted for 26% (over a quarter) of all those cats used in research facilities in the whole of the UK during that time period.
In four years Cardiff University experimented on 157,839 mice, 17,324 rats, 11,096 fish, 1,941 birds,
1,253 guinea pigs, 933 pigeons, 884 frogs, 207 cats, 54 rabbits and 18 tree shrews from the tropics of south east Asia. By comparison, Bangor University used 1,464 mice and 664 fish, Aberystwyth used 289 cattle, 153 mice and 102 sheep and Swansea used 1,208 fish.
Much of the animal research carried out at universities is funded by taxpayers. The Medical Research Council supported the kitten experiment.
1st August 2010