The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) have released their latest’s figures, revealing there have been one million fewer animal tests conducted today in Britain than in 1979.
While there has been a huge decrease, the figures, released in honour for the 40th anniversary of World Day for Animals in Laboratories (WDAIL), reveal that nearly 3.7 million experiments still go ahead each year.
An estimated 100 million animals have suffered and died in experiments in laboratories across the world, and that for each recorded use of an animal in a laboratory a further two to three animals have been killed due to being surplus to requirements.
The animal welfare organisation NAVS spend around £300,000 a year on grants to scientists who conduct non-animal based tests, they are urging the UK government to take action on the issue of animal-testing and support non-animal testing alternatives that could replace current experiments.
Jan Creamer, the president of NAVS, released a statement saying: “This significant decline in animal use, and since the first [WDAIL], has been in spite of inadequate funding and support for modern science.
“Knowing animal research to be misleading and fundamentally flawed, the UK government must act to accelerate the adopting of advanced human-relevant methods, helping animals and people.”
The UK government previously stepped up for animal welfare, implementing a ban on cosmetics testing on animals, as well as a ban on using animals to test alcohol, tobacco and deadly, acute oral LD50 safety tests.
NAVS who released a press release stated: “The fundamental flaw of animal research is that each species responds differently to substances, making animal tests unreliable as a way to predict effects in humans.
“The test drug TGN1412 left human volunteers critically ill and demonstrates just how misleading animal test data can be.
“The drug had been given in doses 500 times stronger to monkeys without serious adverse effects. But it turned a fit and healthy young man into what was described as the ‘elephant man’.”
However, NAVS argue that the TGN1412 disaster could have been avoided if a new technique known as micro dosing had been used, the method involves giving ultra-low doses of a drug to humans through an Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS). This method replaces animals and avoids the issue of species differences. Although, it is estimated that around a third of tests fail the first human trials.