Documents to download

In 2019, there were 3.4 million procedures completed involving regulated living animals.

This was the lowest annual number since 207. Despite a recent fall in the annual number, this was still 29% higher than in 1997.

The numbers now are generally lower than their peak in the 1960s and 1970s, although we do not have completely comparable figures before and after 1987.

In 2019, 1.73 million (51%) of procedures were experiments and 1.67 million (49%) were instances of the creation or breeding of genetically altered (GA) animals.

Three quarters of procedures involved mice. Since 2007, fish have been the second most common animal used; prior to this it was rats.

the majority (57%) of experimental procedures were undertaken for basic research, 25% for regulatory uses, 16% for translational/ applied research, and a small number for other purposes.

Procedures are classified by severity, in terms of the harm that they involve. Most procedures cause some degree of harm (mild, moderate, or severe) and in 5% of procedures the animal did not recover.

The statistics in this briefing are for Great Britain, unless specified otherwise. They are mainly taken from the Home Office’s Statistics of scientific procedures on living animals.

Statistics for Northern Ireland are published separately by the Northern Ireland Department of Health.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Tackling loneliness

    The Government's Loneliness Strategy was published in October 2018. It set out a wide variety of cross-departmental measures that the Government would take to provide 'national leadership' to tackle loneliness in England. As well as explaining the Strategy and the steps taken so far by the Government, this briefing also looks at research into the causes and impact of loneliness and possible interventions. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on loneliness is also considered, alongside the measures introduced by the Government in response. Finally, this paper briefly outlines the situation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Tackling loneliness
  • Loneliness: a reading list

    This reading list provides links to various publications considering the causes and impact of loneliness, as well as possible interventions to deal with the issue in society.

    Loneliness: a reading list
  • Future of the UK space industry

    A debate on the future of the UK space industry has been scheduled for 4 February 2021. This House of Commons Library debate pack provides background information and press and parliamentary coverage.

    Future of the UK space industry