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According to the latest Home Office figures, more than 4 million animals were used in experiments in the UK in 2012, representing a 9% increase since 2011. This is equivalent to beginning over 11,000 experiments every day and represents the highest number of animal experiments (since the introduction of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act in 1986) in Great Britain. This is the third annual increase in the number of animal experiments since the Government’s commitment to reduce them.

Animals used included:

3,214 dogs, 202 cats, 2,186 primates, 10,538 rabbits, 191 horses, 500,056 fish and 152,359 birds



The statistics for Europe are only published every three years. The latest figures show that in 2011, just fewer than 11.5 million animals were used, a small decrease (4.3%) from 12.0 million in 2008. France, Germany and the UK were the highest users of animals. The numbers reported to the European Union (EU) are lower than national figures because they currently do not have to report genetically modified (GM) animals that are bred but not used in experiments.

Source: European Commission (2013) The Seventh Report provides an overview on the number of animals used in the EU in 2011 for experimental and other scientific purposes.


Research by the BUAV and the Dr Hadwen Trust suggests between 82 and 154 million vertebrate animals (115 million on average) may be used worldwide each year. 79% of countries do not appear to publish the number of animals they use. Based on our results, and controlling for the same uses and types of animals we estimate that the top 10 countries are United States, Japan, China, Australia, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan and Brazil.

Source: Taylor, K et al. 2008. Estimates of worldwide laboratory animal use in 2005. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 36, 327–342.