The BUAV has today criticised sharp increases in the numbers of experiments carried out on certain species in Scotland during 2013 including a 61.7% increase for dogs (to 936) and a 21.5% (702) increase for primates.
The 2013 figures, which have been released in answer to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Graeme Morrice MP, also reveal dramatic rises in the number of genetically modified animals (17.8% increase to 335,116) and the number of animals bred with a harmful genetic defect (67.4% to 21,435).
A total of 619,798 animals were used in Scotland in 2013, which represents a slight decrease of 0.5% from the total number used in 2012. But still represents 15.4% of the total number of animals used in experiments in Great Britain
There were also other increases for mice used in 406,502 experiments (12.5% increase), guinea pigs in 1,390 experiments (5.5% increase), horses in 1,887 experiments (10.2% increase), pigs in 597 experiments (13.9% increase) and birds in 17,224 experiments (19% increase) and cats in 11 experiments (450% increase).
392,894 (62.2% of the total number of experiments) used no form of anaesthesia and 502,460 (79.6% of the total of experiments) were carried out by universities/medical schools.
Michelle Thew, BUAV Chief Executive, stated: “We are dismayed to see these large increases; in particular with GM animals. Animal experiments is an issue of strong public concern. Significant and lasting change needs to happen for animals in laboratories and we urge Scotland to pioneer and lead on reducing animal experiments.”