Factsheets

Factsheets

The DHT Position Statement on Nanomaterials (2008) 

How Cell Culture Replaces Animals (2009)

Systematic Reviews of Animal Experiments (2009)

Quick Facts

1. The Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research (DHT) spends approximately £0.45 million p.a. on non-animal replacement research.
2. Animal experiments (also known as vivisection) are defined in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 as any procedures performed on a living animal likely to cause them "pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm."
3. An estimated 115 million animals are used in experiments every year around the world. Across Europe an estimated 12 million animals are used each year, with the UK (over 3.6 million animals) one of the largest users of laboratory animals.
4. Many different species are used for animal experiments around the world including rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, cats, dogs, mini-pigs, primates (including chimps in some countries), goats, sheep, birds, fish etc.
5. Experiments are wide-ranging but can involve poisoning; disease infection; wound infliction; application of skin/eye irritants; food/water/sleep deprivation; subjection to psychological stress; brain damage; paralysis; surgical mutilation; deliberate organ failure; genetic mutation and associated physical deformity; burning; electric shock, forced inhalation and death.
6. World-wide, animals are used to test, re-test or develop products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, food additives and colourings, food products, pharmaceuticals, medical research and devises, industrial and agro- chemicals, tobacco, alcohol and military devices / techniques.
7. An independent review, Testing Treatment on Animals: Relevance to Humans, was written by Professor Ian Roberts (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), commissioned by the NHS and published in May 2006. Nine independent researchers conducted reviews of six medical treatments by comparing human data with predictions from animal experiments (which had used over 7,100 animals). In three-quarters of cases the quality of the animal research was heavily criticised and in half the studies, the animal results failed to correctly predict the human outcome. View the article on the BMJ website 
8. Figures from the USA's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that 92% of new drugs that pass preclinical tests, including tests on animals, fail to reach the market either because of safety or efficacy failures. (US FDA: Report on Challenge and Opportunity on the Critical Path to New Medical Products, March 2004).
9. There are many examples of where animal experiments have hindered medical progress. For example, a report published in New Scientist (26 February 2004) revealed how research into Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using misleading animal models has potentially delayed medical progress by many years.
10. There is a huge range of sophisticated non-animal research techniques available such as computer simulations, cell, tissue or organ cultures, complex artificial systems, QSARs or brain imagers. Many of these utilise human biological material or data so that the results are directly applicable to the human situation. These techniques are not only more ethical but also provide more relevant and reliable results.
 

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