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Latest Statistics

Latest Statistics

Read about the latest UK statistics for animal use in research

Every year the UK Home Office releases statistics of scientific procedures on animals, this is a requirement under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) and is an important aspect of increasing transparency around animal research. ASPA regulates the use of animals in any experimental, testing or research procedure that is covered by the legislation. Every regulated procedure carried out on a protected species is counted and included in the Annual Statistics. Protected animals currently include all living vertebrate species, other than humans, and any living cephalopod (e.g. octopuses, squid and cuttlefish). You can learn more about regulated procedures, assessing severity of procedures, animals protected by ASPA and types of research here.

The statistics provide a breakdown of which protected species have been used, the types of procedures they were used in and other information. In the last decade the number of procedures has fallen steadily, whilst this is moving in the right direction the total figure has only decreased by 24%. The latest figures of the number of animals used in scientific procedures are for 2020.

Anuual Statistics Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain 2020

In 2020, 2.88 million scientific procedures involving live animals were carried out in Great Britain, down 15% from the 3.44 million in 2019. These procedures can be split into those for experimental purposes (1.44 million) and procedures for the creation and breeding of GA (genetically altered) animals (1.44 million).

92% of procedures (both for experimental and breeding purposes) used mice, fish and rats.

The Home Office reported that experimental procedures accounted for around half of all procedures (1.44 million) carried out on animals in 2020, with 758,000 for the purpose of basic research, most commonly focusing on the immune system, nervous system, and oncology (cancer). The remaining procedures (1.44 million) were for the creation and breeding of GA animals. 90% of these procedures were to maintain and breed established GA lines and 10% were for the creation of new lines.

Read more FRAME’s response to the 2020 statistics.

Learn what is meant by a ‘procedure’ in animal research and how procedures are classified.

View the latest UK animal testing statistics on the Home Office website.

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