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Post details: Pro-Test welcomes statistics on animal research in 2007

21/07/08

Permalink 05:15:42 pm, by Tom, 321 words, 3905 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Pro-Test welcomes statistics on animal research in 2007

Today the Home Office has released the figures for all animal research done
in the UK in 2007. The total number of procedures carried out on animals
has risen from 3.01 million in 2006, to 3.2 million in 2007 - although the
total number of animals used is slightly less than this, since in certain cases an animal may be used for more than one procedure.

The rise has been primarily due to a 5% increase in the number of procedures carried out on GM animals, mainly mice. GM (genetically modified) animals can offer better animal models for human diseases, allowing scientists better opportunities to study and cure serious genetic diseases such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.

The importance of GM mice to medical research was recognized by the awarding of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Prof. Mario Capecchi, Sir Martin Evans and Prof. Oliver Smithies for their pioneering work on gene targeting in mice.

The number of procedures on non-human primates has fallen to 4,000, a 6% drop from 2006. This decrease is due in part to the replacement of primates by GM rodents in some areas of research. Dogs, cats, horses and non-human primates together now account for less than 0.5% of animal research in the UK.

These figures demonstrate that the scientists in the UK continue to be at the forefront of 21st century medical research.

Pro-Test Spokesman, Iain Simpson:
“We view the increase in the use of transgenic animals used as especially positive as it shows that academics are continuing to use innovative new methods to find cures for life threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy”.

---
1. Home Office Press Release, 21/07/08
http://press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases/Animal-Research

2. The full Home office statistical report can be found here:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/spanimals07.pdf

3. Contacts: Pro-Test Press Office
E-mail: media@pro-test.org.uk
Iain Simpson, 07960180033
Kevin Elliot, 07970982789
Web: http://www.pro-test.org.uk

Regards

Tom

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