Animal Aid

VIVISECTION INCREASE - Animal experiments on the rise

Posted 1 July 2003
Beagle in cage

Animal experiments increased by 4% in 2002, according to the annual Home Office statistics published on 18th July 2003. The true number of animals killed in labs is much higher than the 2,655,876 lives recorded in the figures because animals used in military experiments are not recorded; neither are those bred and killed for their tissues and body parts, or the millions killed as 'surplus to requirements'.

Not only did millions of animals die, often in extreme agony through lethal poisoning (up 11%) to test agrochemicals (up 41%) or cancer-causing chemicals (up 109%) - but their deaths were pointless and actually served to endanger human health.

The Home Office claims the constant increase in GM animals will aid research into human diseases. Yet 20 years of experiments on GM mice with 'cystic fibrosis' (a 'simple' single gene disorder), for example, has yielded nothing of value for patients. Even Charles River Laboratories, the world's largest supplier of laboratory mice, admit 'there isn't a single genetically manipulated mouse that has been used yet to produce a drug that cures a disease'.

The Home Office warns that there may be a massive rise in animal use when the EU chemical testing policy is implemented - 'for human health and safety purposes'. But the use of animals will have the very opposite effect - allowing chemical manufacturers to market their toxic products by 'proving' them safe in animals, even though safety in animals means nothing for humans. Cigarettes, asbestos, cholesterol, even arsenic are 'safe' in animals!

Experts within industry admit that testing chemicals for cancer-causing ability in animals is scientifically pointless - yet we see a 109% increase in these worthless tests.

The Animal Procedures Committee recommends that the validity (predictive value for humans) of animal data should be assessed by comparing test data with subsequent human data from clinical trials and clinical use. If the government would listen to its own advisers, they would discover that animal experiments are a hindrance, not a help, and that sparing millions of animals would spare hundreds of thousands of people too.

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