BUAV's criticism of a shocking increase in animal experiments in Wales has today been reported in the Western Mail newspaper. The increase has come to light in response to Parliamentary Questions tabled by Lib Dem MP Roger Williams.
The Home Office statistics show that during 2009, experiments were started on 58,937 animals compared with 48,507 in 2008. That is a huge rise of 21%. The statistics also revealed that 28,209 of those animals used involved genetically modified animals.
Of the total number of experiments, 56, 917 were carried out at Cardiff University. Last year, the BUAV exposed the shocking experiments carried out on kittens, some as young as two months, at Cardiff. The revelations caused a public outcry. In 2009, the University was responsible for using a total of 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. Our FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for further information about cat experiments has been denied by the University. This is despite much of the work being publicly funded!
Roger Williams, MP told the Western Mail: “I am concerned about the increased use of animals in tests in Wales, but it remains unclear what purposes these tests have been carried out for.”
Following BUAV campaigning, the Coalition government pledged to create a strategy to reduce the number of animals used in experiments – until they do there is no strategy or target or policy in place to achieve this.
While we wait to hear what that strategy is, the BUAV's Dr Katy Taylor told the Western Mail that there was no need for Welsh universities to wait for new guidance: “They can choose now to move away from animal research by changing the type of research they invest in and designing a policy by which those experiments that are currently carried out are phased out on a priority basis.”
Read the article on Wales Online