BUAV responds to university use of animals in research

25/11/2013

BUAV concerns over the use of animals by UK universities have been widely reported by the media.

This follows series of Freedom of Information Act requests to leading UK universities made by the TAB student newspaper. The newspaper asked the universities how many animals they had killed for research in 2012. The newspaper was shocked to report high use of animals across the universities, totalling over 1.3 million animals. Edinburgh and Oxford universities were the worst; killing over 200,000 animals each year. Cambridge University, Kings College London, Imperial College London and Stirling University in Scotland all killed more than 100,000 animals each.

National statistics released in July this year show that the use of animals by universities is on the increase. There were over 4 million experiments carried out on animals in Great Britain last year and over 48% of these were performed in universities.  

Use of animals in universities is often ‘curiosity based’ and the BUAV can all too easily find examples of apparently frivolous work being done, such as injecting mice with ecstasy, starving rats to see if it makes them more horny and forcing sheep to become obese. Some of the cruellest work is also done at universities; animals are blasted with noise, subjected to devastating brain surgery, had strokes induced or organs removed, force fed toxic substances or given electric shocks.

The BUAV is very concerned about the rising numbers of animals used in UK universities. Over the last decade the proportion of animals used by the drug industry has halved, but has doubled in universities. The BUAV is calling on the government to implement its pledge to reduce the number of animal experiments taking place and clearly those experiments at universities need to be a priority.

The BUAV responded to the university numbers in the national press (Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, BBC News online and our own Huffington Post blog), local press (Leicester Mercury, Oxford Mail, Edinburgh Evening News and the Dundee Courier) and several radio programmes including BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio Birmingham.

Read some of our coverage here: 

The Tab

The BBC

The Courier 

The Daily Mail