UK Animal Research Increases Despite Promise of Change

Animal testing is a subject which nobody wants to talk about in an honest and open way. The majority of the public would prefer to claim ignorance, and organizations responsible go to extreme lengths to play down the extent of their animal testing regimes.

This lack of openness is costing lives, and last year over 4.1 million animal experiments took place in the UK which is more than ever before.

A Facade of Transparency

Since 2010 over 80 businesses, charities and educational facilities have pledged to make their animal testing regimes more transparent to the public. On the surface this seems like a move in the right direction, but the facts show that the ‘Concordat on Openness on Animal Testing’ organized by Understanding Animal Research, is nothing more than a mask for organizations to hide behind.

The signees of the agreement are publicly stating that they are committed to reducing, replacing, and refining their animal testing practices which is great for public relations. However, the words of the agreement are just a target to aim towards and mean almost nothing in reality. Organizations who have signed the agreement are under no obligation to disclose the actual facts and figures related to their animal testing operations if they feel it could have a negative impact on their profits or public image.

In essence, the pledge for transparency on animal testing in the UK seems to be a PR stunt, not a concrete plan of action that is helping to prevent the animals from the unbearable suffering, torture and death which they endure.

Old Testing Methods Fade while Genetic Modification Testing Soars

Figures show that in 2013 the overall number of animal experiments in the UK rose to an all time high of 4.12 million, which is due largely to the dramatic increase in the amount of genetic modification (GM) and harmful genetic mutation (HM) tests. This relatively new area of scientific testing has gained prevalence over the past 20 years and now accounts for more than 50 percent of all the animal testing conducted in the UK.

Since 1995 GM and HM procedures have risen 573 percent to more than 2 million, and it’s continuing to increase year after year despite claims from organizations that they are cutting back. The overall level of all other animal testing has decreased slightly over the same period, but this is due to the fact that GM and HM testing has replaced many of the old methods. Some of the animals being tested on include mice, rats, fish, cattle, sheep, goats, primates, reptiles, pigs, hamsters and gerbils, all of whom are forced to undergo horrific procedures, some of which involve prolonged periods of pain and suffering with open wounds, sleep deprivation and vivisection.

When Will It End?

Companies are signing pledges saying they’re reducing the amount of animal testing while at the same time government figures show annual increases. Millions of animals are suffering in the name of medical and scientific progress and there is no real transparency to the public, who are left in the dark and unable to make informed decisions.

We have the power to support or boycott companies who are carrying out animal testing, and as consumers this is our biggest weapon in the fight against animal cruelty. Spreading the compassionate message and saying no to animal tested products is the least we can do to show the animals that we care.


Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk


Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

Very disappointing, but we mustn't give up.

Yvonne Wey
Yvonne Wey2 years ago

In this day and age there is no need to use animals for any experiment so stop now and let the animals live without this barbaric torturing as that is what it is pure animal abuse

Jessica Story
Jessica Story3 years ago

Keep your promises, i'm sick of corrupt government officials saying anything to get votes, only to renege on them! Animal testing is unnecessary & ineffective, stop this barbarism now!

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Animal research is no longer necessary. It needs to be stopped everywhere not just the UK.

Michaela Carlsson

This is something that goes on in the whole World in one or another way!
There are so many cruel people and they hide behind scientist moral and all of them know that they can't use or compare the results for humans.
Sadly I think this will never stop as long as this coldhearted so called scientists enjoy theire work...

Axa T.
Axa T3 years ago

Boycott all the companies that uses animal testing

Dave and Rita Cross

To the UK,

We are ashamed at your lack of compassion and respect for animals! Please stop all animal testing in the UK and send a huge example to all the world to follow! Alternatives to the use of animals are more reliable without suffering!

Beth Wilkerson
Beth Wilkerson3 years ago

STOP!!! This is unnecessary, and inhumane.

Cindy Miars
Cindy Miars3 years ago

Boycott all companies that do animal testing & write them a letter informing them of your decision and reason why.