UK sees 5 pct drop in animal experiments in 2016
LONDON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The number of scientific procedures carried out on live animals in Britain decreased by 5 percent last year, according to figures released Thursday by the government's Home Office.
The total number of procedures in 2016 decreased to 3.94 million, a reduction of 206,000 procedures compared with 2015, the figures showed.
Out of the total number of procedures, 2.02 million were experimental, of which 5.6 percent were assessed as severe procedures compared to 5.9 percent in 2015.
The number of experiments rose to a peak of 5.61 million in1971, followed by a steady fall to 2.62 million procedures overall in 2001. Since then, the number of procedures has shown a general increase, predominantly due to the advent of gene technology and the breeding and use of genetically altered animals, but in recent years has remained around four million.
"Our legislation provides a rigorous regulatory system that ensures animal research and testing is carried out only where no practicable alternative exists and under controls which keep suffering to an absolute minimum," said a Home Office spokesperson. Enditem[ Editor: meng ]