Tuesday, 17 November 2009 12:00 AM
The BUAV has expressed its concern following a worrying 15 percent increase in the number of animal experiments carried out in Northern Ireland. The newly available statistics show that in 2008, 17,875 experiments took place compared to 15,525 in 2007.There was a large increase in the number of mice (54 percent total of animals used) and cattle (13 percent total of animals used). In 2008, 9,229 mice, 1,198 rats, 3,121 domestic fowl, 2,047 cattle, 93 rabbits and 38 horses/donkeys were used. Of those experiments carried out, 77 percent were done with no anaesthetic.
On a more positive note, the BUAV welcomes the fact that, as in previous years, no non-human primates were used in research during 2008.
In addition, no testing on animals occurred for cosmetics, household products, chemicals, pesticides, tobacco or for education and training.
The BUAV is calling on Northern Ireland to excise its own powers to make policy decision about animal experiments and ensure animals are never used for these purposes.
However, the BUAV is concerned about the re-use of cats and dogs in veterinary research. In 2008, 8 cats were used in 42 procedures and 6 dogs were used in 140 procedures.
BUAV's Senior Parliamentary Officer, Jenny Gowen states:
"Animal experiments is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland, officials and ministers have the power to impose stricter controls on the use of animals and provide more transparent information for the public. Given the rise in animal experiments last year we are disappointed they do not seem to be taking this opportunity."
For further information, please contact Carla Owen or Jenny Gowen +44 (0)207 700 4888 or Email Press Enquiries or BUAV (out of hours) +44 (0)7850 510 955