The UK has, this week, become the first country to submit ‘additional’ animal statistics under a new EU reporting requirement.
The EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (2010/63) now requires that each EU country give details of the animals that are killed in research facilities that were not used in any regulated procedure.
Unlike the Annual Statistics, produced by EU countries, the additional numbers refer to the total number of animals which have been kept in the same regulated conditions, but without the potential of harm or suffering from scientific procedures. See here for further information.
The UK’s Additional Statistics for 2017 show that 1.81 million non-genetically altered (non-GA) animals were bred for scientific procedures, but were killed or died without being used in regulated procedure.
The majority of these animals were mice (80%), rats (11%) and fish (7%) many of which were breeding animals used to sustain breeding groups.
Dr Sara Wells, of MRC Harwell, UK, welcomed the publication as a milestone in transparency and openness. “The broadening of the focus of the legislation will ensure that the scientific community and public are properly informed of the numbers of all animals involved in research”, she said.