The Government has just released its figures for the number of experimental procedures on animals that took place in Great Britain last year. We’re disappointed to see that the total number in 2021 was once again over three million, up by 6% compared to 2020. Although we are devastated by the suffering of each and every one of these animals, by working together we CAN Target Zero.
When we commented on the 2020 figures – which the Government itself said were lower due to COVID-19 lockdowns closing laboratories – we said that we hoped that decrease would be used as a jumping off point for an acceleration away from the cruel use of animals. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case.
Tragically, there were over 58,000 experiments causing severe suffering (meaning that the animals endured intense and protracted pain, suffering, or distress) in 2021 – a decrease of just 1% compared to the previous year. 2021 also, frustratingly, saw a 17% increase in the number of experimental procedures on monkeys.
But we have to believe that this can change. We have to keep campaigning. Hope always comes from the people. And we have made some good steps forward – we've been pushing hard to see an end to painful eye irritation and skin sensitisation tests on rabbits and mice, so it’s great to see big improvement this year compared to last.
We are TARGETING ZERO ANIMAL TESTS, and to make it happen we need your help! The UK urgently needs a strategy to end animal testing and crucially, someone with clear responsibility to drive that transition forward.
We are calling for the appointment of a government minister with responsibility for leading on implementing a plan to target zero animal tests. One of the challenges we face is that responsibility for animal testing and medical research is currently shared between several different government departments including the Home Office, Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). We want to see one single ministerial role focused on leading and accelerating the transition away from animal experiments and accountable for progress.
This Minister for Animal Free Science would coordinate work across government to bring about much-needed change.
Will you use our quick and easy tool to send a letter to the Secretary of State responsible for animal testing policy and demand change?
Join us! You can use our quick and easy tool to write to the BEIS Secretary of State to let them know this is an issue that is important to you as a voter and ask them to do more to end cruel animal experiments so that this time next year, we don’t have to tell you about three million more instances of suffering.