The latest statistics

The latest Home Office statistics -
animals used in scientific procedures

The Home Office releases statistics of scientific procedures on animals each year. Numbers reached a minimum in 2001 at a little under 3 million, but have since risen steadily to almost 4 million. The latest Home Office Statistic on animals used in scientific procedures are for 2017.

In 2017, 3.79 million scientific procedures involving animals were carried out in Great Britain, a 4% drop on the previous year. These included 1.89 million experiments on live animals – with reasons ranging from legally required drug testing to surgical training.

However, over the past 10 years, the number of procedures carried out with animals has risen by four per cent.

The number of experiments using primates has fallen 17% since 2016, while there has been a sharp increase in the use of horses – an 18% rise in the same time period.

The Home Office said experimental procedures accounted for half of the 3.79 million procedures carried out on animals in 2017. It added that 27% of these experimental procedures were for regulatory testing. This is testing carried out to satisfy legal requirements such as evaluating the safety or effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, and the safety of other chemicals. This is an area where the largest number of dogs (2,597) and primates (1,940) were used in 2017.

The full statistics can be viewed on the Home Office website.

'Over the past 10 years, the number of procedures carried out with animals has risen by four per cent.'