Author Archives: Tom

German Outreach Done Right

The German Primate Center (DPZ) have been producing some excellent resources to show how their primates are housed. This sort of outreach goes a long way to helping understand the lengths that institutions will go to ensure that high standards of animal welfare are maintained for their primates.

The first resource is an interactive tour of the DPZ facility. The website allows users to se pictures of the facility, and discover key information about the site. There are approximately 1300 primates currently kept at the facility, 75% of which are either rhesus macaques or common marmosets – both common research animals.

It isn’t just information about the animals which is provided. The tour explains why staff and visitors must change their shoes as they walk around the facility, and how clothes are decontaminated between areas. While such practices are very normal for researchers and animal care staff, they can seem quite alien, and even intimidating, for those who are less used to the laboratory environment. The tour answers questions about how often cages are cleaned (daily), how sunlight is regulated, what sort of enrichment exists, and much more.

Animal research facility at DPZ

The breakout boxes provide more information about aspects of animal welfare, facility management and the animals themselves.

How does the environment influence animal behaviour

The captive environment should allow and encourage natural behavior as shown by the species in the wild. This can be behaviors and postures like leaping, climbing, hanging upside-down, and running as well as clinging or jumping. The artificial environment should also allow all social behaviors like grooming, playing, huddling or the display of dominance, which is very important to all primate societies.

DPZ have also produced a video (in English) showing the work being done at their Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. The video looks at research which aims to understand the filtering process (selective attention) in brain processing – “what are its consequences, what is its neural basis, and what happens if there is a malfunction in that system”. It includes both the human and primate research.

The video is fantastic, showing how the primates are treated in studies at DPZ. This sort of outreach is important to help the public understand what primate research actually looks like.

Speaking of Research congratulate DPZ for these fantastic outreach tools.

USDA publishes 2014 Animal Research Statistics

Congratulations to the USDA/APHIS for getting ahead of the curve and making the US the first country to publish its 2014 animal research statistics. Overall, the number of animals (covered by the Animal Welfare Act) used in research fell 6.4% from 891,161 (2013) to 834,453 (2014).

These statistics do not include all animals as most mice, rats, and fish are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act – though they are still covered by other regulations that protect animal welfare. We also have not included the 166,274 animals which were kept in research facilities in 2014 but were not involved in any research studies.

Types of Animals used in research and testing 2014Statistics from previous years show that most of the “All other animals” species are rodents (but not mice or rats). 53% of research is on guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits, while 10% is on dogs or cats and 7% on non-human primates. In the UK, where mice, rats, fish and birds are counted in the annual statistics, over 97% of research is on rodents, birds and fish. Across the EU, which measures animal use slightly differently, 93% of research is on species not counted under the Animal Welfare Act. We would expect similar patterns to be true in the US – although there are no statistics to confirm this.

Changes in number of animals used in research from 2013 to 2014 - Click to Enlarge

Changes in number of animals used in research from 2013 to 2014 – Click to Enlarge

If we look at the changes between the 2013 and 2014 statistics we can see a drop in the number of animals of most species , with only the “all other animals” category showing a rise. This is the second year in which the number of many species has fallen. For example, the number of rabbits used in 2014 fell 11.4% from 2013, following a 9.2% fall from 2012.

Most notably the number of non-human primates has fallen by 9.9%, the number of dogs fell 12.4% and the number of cats fell by 13%. This has shown these species taking up a smaller proportion of the research animals used, as can be seen below:

Trend in number of animals used in research 1973 - 2014 - Click to Enlarge

Trend in number of animals used in research 1973 – 2014 – Click to Enlarge

Clearly there has been a downward trend in the number of animals used since the early 1990s with a 61% drop in numbers between 1992 and 2014. It is also likely that, similar to the UK, a move towards using more genetically altered mice and fish has reduced the numbers of other AWA-covered animals used.

Rises and falls in the number of animals used reflects many factors including the level of biomedical activity in a country, trending areas of research, changes to legislations at home and abroad, outsourcing research to and from other countries, and new technologies (which may either replace animal studies or create reasons for new animal experiments).

It is important to note that the number of animals cannot be tallied across years to get an accurate measure of total number of animals. This is because animals in longitudinal studies are counted each year. Thus, if the same 10 animals are in a research facility for 10 years, they would appear in the stats of each year – adding these numbers would incorrectly create the illusion of 100 animals being used.

Speaking of Research welcomes the open publication of these animal research statistics as offering the public a clear idea of what animal research goes on in their country.

Guest Post: CRPS Animal Models Explained

The following guest post is by Dr Rosie Morland. Dr Morland recently completed a PhD in neuroscience and pain studies at Imperial College, London, and she has a particular interest in how animal models can help increase understanding of complex pain disorders. You can read more from her on her blog. The article was originally published on the Burning Nights website which seeks to raise awareness about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in the UK and Worldwide. It is republished with permission from the original author and Burning Nights website. CRPS, formerly called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a chronic pain condition which usually affects the limbs and can result in prolonged pain. More information on CRPS can be found in this leaflet.

Developing Animal Models of CRPS/RSD Explained

In the last 20 years, research into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has seen huge advances, taking it from a little understood and assumed-rare condition, to the realisation that it is an incredibly complex disorder that may in fact describe a whole group of related pain conditions.

Defining CRPS

CRPS often develops after a seemingly minor injury, which instead of healing normally triggers an over-reaction of pain and inflammation systems in the body.

The Budapest criteria are often used to diagnose CRPS. These look at four main categories of symptoms as shown below:

The Budapest Criteria CRPS

These symptoms are used to identify CRPS according to the following checklist:

  • A: Ongoing pain at an intensity which cannot be explained by the triggering event (e.g. a fall or fracture)
  • B: at least one sign (i.e. measured experience) from two or more of the four categories above
  • C: at least one symptom (i.e. reported experience) from three or more of the four categories above
  • D: A lack of alternative diagnosis

Hypothesis Experiment Results Conclusion

Developing Animal Models of CRPS

This last point highlights the difficulties both doctors and researchers face when trying to develop animals models of CRPS. Animal models can be incredibly informative when trying to understanding how painful conditions develop – they have been used to identify changes that occur at the cellular level in pain, helping to understand the changes that take place when pain changes from acute (useful & teaches us to avoid the dangerous things in life), to chronic (pain that just won’t go away). So far, pain researchers have found that the way the body reacts to pain depends on what caused the pain, and also to some extent on individual factors such as genetics, previous life experience, and lifestyle.

When developing animal models, the researcher must first establish that what they are doing is a valid and accurate representation of the human condition. This applies to both how the model is induced (i.e. what causes the condition), and what signs/symptoms can be detected. For CRPS, this situation is complicated by a lack of understanding of what causes the disease, huge variation in how patients experience the condition, and a reliance on reported symptoms. For researchers trying to develop accurate models, reported symptoms are the greatest challenge.

In CRPS, animal models usually take one of two forms:

  • A: Traumatic – based on traumatic conditions that can trigger CRPS, such as accidents
  • B: Immune – looking at how a dysfunctional immune system can contribute to CRPS

Most models are in this first category, and are based on evidence that CRPS develops following a relatively minor accident, such as a fall resulting in broken skin and/or bones. Such injuries affect the body in a number of different ways, and so are best looked at by breaking them down into elements, such as the effect of a fracture and subsequent bed-rest (‘immobilisation’); how nerves change the way they transmit pain signals when they are crushed by swelling, fractures, or other injuries; and how damage can happen when the blood supply is restored to an injured limb. Together, these models can identify how each different element of an injury contribute to the symptoms experienced.

Background concept illustration Immune system health medical word cloud wordcloud

Background concept illustration Immune system health medical word cloud wordcloud

As the immune system is incredibly complex, and it has been difficult to identify a unique “signature” for the immune response in CRPS, there are fewer researchers looking at the immune aspects of CRPS. However, a recent study found that disrupting the activity of a certain type of immune cell (B cells) in mice decreases CRPS-like behaviours such as pain and negative vascular changes following a fracture. This suggests that being able to control the immune reaction could decrease the chances of developing CRPS following an injury. Other studies have looked at the effect of nerve inflammation, as present following a minor injury, and what factors are responsible for the transition from normal immune response to injury, and the uncontrolled response immune seen in CRPS.

Another recent study looked at the role of the immune system from a different angle, by injecting serum from CRPS patients into mice. Samples from CRPS patients have been shown to have high levels of inflammation, and when this was injected into mice, they showed CRPS-like symptoms that not seen in mice injected with serum from healthy volunteers. This suggests there is something different in the serum of CRPS patients that could explain the different reaction to injury. However, in this study, the patient group was selected to be similar, and as CRPS can present in a wide variety of ways, these results are only relevant to that specific patient group. Studies are already in progress to try and link what is seen in serum to specific symptoms experienced, so in the years to come, we can expect a lot more work like this.

Measuring Symptoms in Animal Models

Once a model has been made, the researcher must then find ways of testing for the signs/symptoms reported by patients. Not all of these are easy to detect in animals, pain being one of the most difficult. Most methods of measuring pain in animals look only at hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity, or the perception of pain greater than would be expected, can be measured in animals by looking at how different models change responses to increasing temperature (up to 48°C), and increasing force (using a hair-like instrument – von Frey Hairs). However, pain is not just a sensory experience, and is always associated with emotional symptoms, which are just as damaging to the sufferer, and much more difficult to measure in animals. To study this aspect of pain, researchers look at changes in the natural behaviour of the animal, such as how readily they explore a new space (theory: pain decreases the perceived risk of exploration), and also how they react to other animals (theory: animals in pain behave differently around other animals based on whether they are familiar or a risk). It is very important when studying pain to ensure that any treatments developed tackle both the sensory and emotional aspects of pain.

As discussed, most models used to study CRPS are limited in their application, as they focus on a very specific set of conditions, such as bone fracture models only being applicable to CRPS patients who developed the condition via fractures, or the immune serum study only applying to patients which fit the same profile.

By looking at a range of different symptoms of CRPS, and how they compare across different models, researchers should be able to build up a detailed picture of what factors contribute to each symptom and how they can be combatted.

It is important to recognise that advances in CRPS research are reliant on identifying the biological changes responsible for the symptoms of CRPS, and without a definitive cause the only way to do this is to look at a range of different models. As we learn more about the processes happening in the body that are responsible for each symptom, and how they change during disease progression, we get closer to developing useful treatments that take into account all the different ways CRPS patients experience the condition. The personal nature of the pain experience, combined with the variation in symptoms experienced in CRPS mean there is never, alas, going to be a one-size-fits-all treatment, but with greater understanding, diagnoses could become more accurate, and appropriate treatments, based on the unique symptom profile of the patient could become a reality.

Some interesting open access articles on models of CRPS:

Linnman, C et al. (2013) ‘Inflaming the brain: CRPS a model disease to understand neuroimmune interactions in chronic pain,’ Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology & NCBI NIH. June 2013. Vol 8 (3) pp 547-563. Available from: < http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23188523> doi: 10.1007/s11481-012-9422-8

Cooper, M.S., Clark, V.P. (2013) ‘Neuroinflammation, neuroautoimmunity, and the co-morbidities of complex regional pain syndrome,’ Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology & NCBI NIH. June 2013. Vol 8 (3), pp 452-469. Available from: <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22923151&gt; doi: 10.1007/s11481-012-9392-x

Dr Rosie Morland

ALF Claims Responsibility for Arson in Mississauga, Canada

In an anonymous communique the ALF claimed responsibility (ALF site) for the destruction of two trucks owned by Harlan Laboratories. In the early morning of June 7, 2015, incendiary devices were ignited and the trucks were destroyed. Thankfully no one was injured and the fire was quickly contained by first responders. Harlan was targeted because of its corporate focus to provide laboratory customers with animals, products and services that optimize the discovery and safety of new medicines and compounds. Harlan significantly contributes to research endeavours in Canada and was recently acquired by Huntingdon Life Sciences, who has been the target of several animal rights campaigns. Ultimately this type of illegal activity is counterproductive as is evident with the ending of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty campaign and the convictions of numerous perpetrators of violence and harassment in the US and UK.

Fire Canada

It is unclear if those involved in this incident are the same as the people who released 1600 mink in St. Mary’s Ontario on May 30, 2015, or vandalized the CALAS national office in July 2014. What is clear is that this type of illegal activity is unacceptable and undermines informed discussions surround this important issue. The majority of Canadians support the ethical use of animals in science. Canadian scientists, laboratory animal professionals, institutions and companies need to resist the temptation to “circle the wagons” and shut the public out. That strategy is also counterproductive in the long term. We can use this as an opportunity to expand public outreach programs. Once presented with accurate and transparent information the public can make informed opinions. Knowledge is power and sharing that knowledge empowers the public to understand animal research.

Michael Brunt

It’s All About the Animals

Richard Marble animal facility coordinatorThe following guest post is by Richard Marble RLATg, CMAR, Laboratory Animal Facility Coordinator at Ferris State University. In this article, he provides an insight into animal facilities from the perspective of a lab animal facility manager.

Laboratory Animal Research and Testing.

You hear about this controversial subject as a topic of discussion in the news quite often. You’ll see live video feeds on TV of animal rights protestors in front of research facilities or on government building front lawns, protesting the use of animals in research. You’ll read of pro-animal testing groups standing across the street counter protesting the animal rights activists in the newspaper. But seldom do you hear the stories from the compassionate, animal and people loving individuals inside the walls of these companies and institutions performing the research and caring for the animals. I want to share with you a peek at life behind the walls from the perspective of a Laboratory Animal Facility Manager’s chair.

rat

My name is Richard Marble, and I am an animal care facility coordinator (manager) in a small Midwest University. I have spent over 10 years in Animal Research, the last 6 years being spent in management. My experience spreads across Academia, Contract Research Organizations, and Laboratory Animal Providers. I possess a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology, and I am a Registered Laboratory Animal Technologist and Certified Manager of Animal Resources. I am passionate about what I do and I am thankful to be in a field where I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of animals and people alike. To quote, Cindy Buckmaster Ph.D., a well-known animal researcher and champion for necessary laboratory animal research, “People in this field are the reason that 6 year olds with leukemia get to be 7.”

In my current position, it is my job to make sure the animals under our care receive the best and most humane treatment available. This in turn provides society with opportunities to gain valuable knowledge that improves the health and wellbeing of people and animals alike. I educate and consult with the investigators on proper procedures/care as well as advise them of the regulatory/ethical obligations regarding their work with research animals. I also provide day to day oversight of all animal care activities, advise the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) on regulatory updates/changes, protect the occupational health of the animal technicians caring for the animals, and serve as the primary point of contact to senior administration on ALL THINGS ANIMAL RESEARCH. As you can see this position involves wearing many hats. In order to accomplish all of this I am first and foremost an educator, but I am also a subject matter expert, a manager, a supervisor, a mentor, a committee member, a communications facilitator, and part of a team of individuals who care for our animals.

Most days start out with normal business tasks like checking emails, scheduling appointments, ordering supplies, and other general office tasks. Then the exciting and ever changing part of my day begins. One morning, I might take the opportunity enter the animal rooms and interact with the technicians and animals to find out what we can do to improve the care for our animals. Another morning I might meet with a prospective researcher and provide input on how to design their research project in order to get the best data from their work while having the least impact on the animals’ health or wellbeing.

Next comes lunch time. Sometimes lunch is also spent working. A vendor may stop in for a working lunch to discuss the changes in their products or go over upcoming projects, sharing how they can assist our investigators in obtaining the equipment they need. Other days I may take this time to recharge my batteries by getting out of the office and catching lunch with a coworker, or catching up on the latest news developments in human or animal healthcare.

BatteryMoving to the afternoon I might attend a meeting with IACUC members to review incoming protocols and discuss our legal/ethical obligations or training/ updating them on current best practices. This may include ways of reducing the number of animals needed for the research by suggesting utilizing animals from a behavioral study that has ended, refining a procedure by providing input on the latest/ least invasive way of performing it, or offering a scientifically validated option to replace some of the animals with cell or computer based options to obtain the same data. A different afternoon might be spent discussing facility equipment updates with physical plant personnel and educating them on the ever changing facility needs of animal based research in regards to HVAC, plumbing, surfacing, and electrical, or it might be meeting with a vendor on a new equipment installation project.

Then there are the emergencies. Though thankfully rare, they do happen. An animal gets sick, a drain backs up, a technician calls in sick, the HVAC goes down, the electric goes out, an external inspector shows up, or a researcher is three hours from a grant deadline and was just notified they needed some documentation from animal care. Did I mention these always come when a facility manager is the busiest? It is at these times that I find the challenge and the most fulfillment in my career. Everything I am working on gets dropped, and I attend to the emergency, in all cases putting animal health and well-being at the forefront. The vet gets called. Physical plant gets notified. I rush back to the office to get the inspector the paperwork they need to review. I may have to jump in and cover cage change duties for the sick technician. I may have to help my technicians scramble to put temporary heating into a room in order to keep the animals warm. I might be racing the clock to get the investigator the information they need so they can make the grant deadline, enabling them to have money to complete life- saving research or provide education for future drug development technicians. It is all in a day’s work.

At the end of the day, I look back on the accomplishments with fulfilment, and view the mistakes as opportunities to improve. Some days, when the stress has been high, I will spend the last half hour of my day, suited up in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sitting in the rabbit room handling and socializing the rabbits. It’s there, with rabbit sitting in my lap, that I am reminded of the ultimate reason my job exists and the passion for what I do. Ultimately, it is all about the animals, and the sacrifices they make so that people and animals alike live better, longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives due to necessary animal based research. This is the reason I get out of bed each work day looking forward to being part of the miracle of modern medicine. It is a privilege and a passion to be part of this miracle, and when you love what you do, you never “work” another day in your life. That is the perspective from this Lab Animal Facility Manager’s Chair. I hope you enjoyed the view.

Richard Marble

A Conversation About Beagle Testing

I received an email one morning from James, a Grade 6 student who wanted to know more about beagles used in research and testing for a school project about his passion. He has a pet beagle named Bagel and had recently watched some videos from the Beagle Freedom Project (BFP written about here and here). James was very curious and quite concerned about the beagles that participated in studies in Canada. He requested some information and to visit the Central Animal Facility at the University Of Guelph. James was invited for a tour and the answers to his questions are as follows:

Job Related

  • What is your job and what do you teach at the University?

I am a research animal technician and my job is to advocate for the animals that are under my care. I instruct those who have not worked with animals how to do so in a compassionate, respectful and ethical manner.

  • Why did you become a technician?

I became a technician because I love animals and people. I also love science and love being a part of making discoveries that improve the lives of millions of people and animals

  • My project is on a passion and I am wondering what your passion is?

I’m passionate about a lot! I am passionate about animals that I have the privilege to care for with compassion and respect. I am passionate about the science that continually makes strides towards new therapeutic advancements. I am passionate about alleviating the suffering of our fellow animals and people who agonize with debilitating and painful diseases. I choose this profession in research because it is my passion.

  • What research do you do in your Lab?

The majority of the work that is done in the facility where I work is basic or fundamental science in a wide variety of areas including oncology, neuroscience, animal behaviour and welfare, molecular biology, physiology, immunology, among others.

Michael Brunt and James during the laboratory visit

Michael Brunt and James during the laboratory visit

Animal Research/Testing

  • Why is it important to use animals/ beagles?

Various non-animal research methods are used together with animal studies to reduce the number of animals needed. These methods include antibodies, stem cells, tissue cultures (all in-directly use animals) and computer models. Non-animal methods account for the majority of biomedical research. Nevertheless, there are important research questions that still require animals. For example, in drug development, a large initial group of chemical candidates may be screened using non-animal methods, and only the most promising ones are taken through animal testing and human clinical trials. Before animal studies can go forward, investigators must detail how they have considered non-animal methods, and why they are not appropriate for answering their research question.

  • What kinds of tests are done?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care has 5 classifications for the purposes of animal use (PAU):
PAU1 – Studies of a fundamental nature in science relating to essential structure or function
PAU2 – Studies for medical purposes, including veterinary medicine, that relate to human or animal disease or disorders
PAU3- Studies for regulatory testing of products for the protection of humans, animals, or the environment
PAU4 – Studies for the development of products or appliances for human or veterinary medicine
PAU5 – Education and training of individuals in post-secondary institutions or facilities

  • What happens with your research findings once you are finished a project?

The findings are published in scientific journals that are available on the internet for everybody to access. The knowledge gained could be used to answer other scientific questions or be applied in translational science to develop new therapies or cures for those that are suffering.

  • What do you do with the animals after you have used them for research/testing?

Ultimately, most of the animals involved in animal research are euthanized. This is because the researchers will often need to further study the body – taking tissue samples and other such tests to make sure they get as much data from any animal they use. To euthanize the animals, researchers use a variety of methods such as an overdose of anesthesia (pain killers) or using CO2 so that the animal slowly drifts into a sleep it never awakes from.

Beagle Research/Testing

  • What is your opinion about beagle research?

Animal research plays a vital role in the development of modern medical and veterinary treatments. Much of our understanding about the biological processes in the body, and the diseases that affect them, comes from studies in animals. I believe that animal research should be conducted with the utmost care, responsibility and respect towards the animals. All personnel involved in animal research should strictly follow the pertinent guidelines, regulations and laws.

  • When did beagle testing begin?

Hundreds of years ago to begin to understand blood movement and the interactions of organs.

  • Why are beagles used for testing?

Health Canada requires that all new drugs, medical devices, and procedures first be evaluated in animals for safety before clinical trials involving human volunteers can begin. The most common “product” that is tested using animal models is new medications. Animals are used to determine that the drug shows a reasonable likelihood of working as conceived and to determine unforeseen side effects. For instance, a researcher may find that a new drug to control high blood pressure does so, but there is a possibility of a side effect such as liver damage. That information needs to be known before it is used in clinical trials with humans.

  • How many beagles are used a year?

0.3% of the animals used in Canada in 2011 were dogs. Mice, rats and fish accounted for 78.5% of the animals.

  • Where do you get your dogs?

Our beagles are provided by companies who breed dogs for research, teaching or testing purposes.

  • How are the dogs treated?

With love, compassion and respect.

  • Why don’t some companies let beagles see sunlight play or even touch grass during their testing time?

At our institution our animals go outside for walks every day with their dedicated paid dog walker and our volunteer dog walkers.

  • How many beagles die each year from testing?

I don’t have an answer to that question. In Canada in 2011, 10,199 dogs were utilized in science. However, that isn’t how many were humanely euthanized at the end of the projects. Our institution has adopted 100s of beagles into our community.

James and Bagel

James and Bagel (Photos reproduced with permissions from copyright owner)

Feedback

James and his parents met a number of our animals, including our beagles, during their tour and I asked him to provide some feedback on his experience.

At first I thought beagle research and testing was inhumane, unbeneficial and cruel. But when I went to the University of Guelph my perspective changed and I learned that research and testing is very important and it helps 1000s of humans and animals because of the research on animals. The people treat all the animals to a good life like every other animal in the world. They play with all the animals mice/rats/dogs and turkeys. One of the reasons that they euthanize the animals is to further discover the effects of a drug to make it safer for humans and other animals. All the animals there are well cared for, like the animals are their family. If we didn’t have research and testing we would never have a treatment to help the people suffering with cancer. 1000s of products have helped humans and other animals because of the work done with beagles. How many people would have died without animal research and testing on the drugs to know if they are safe. What I thought about beagle testing at first was nothing compared to what it is now. I now know that it very helpful. Most of the websites that say all the bad things are not aware of all the things the beagles and animals have done for advancing medicines. Another part of my visit included seeing Dr Woods and he told me about the research he did on mice for prostate cancer. They use mice cells because they react to the cancer like the humans cells do. Dogs are closer to humans than mice in DNA and they need to see how much of the drug they can give without it being toxic. All chemotherapy has been tested through rats, mice and beagles before humans. In my opinion all the beagles and animals who are involved in research are Heroes.”

My interview and tour with James demonstrates that everyone must seize opportunities to engage with members of the public. It is a chance to present accurate information about the ethical use of animals in science and allow people to make informed opinions. These instances foster a culture of understanding, acceptance, value and recognition for the contributions animal research plays in improving the lives of millions of animals and people every day. They are opportunities that should not be squandered.

Michael Brunt

Animal Research Statistics for Germany in 2013

Recent events at Max Planck Institute, where Professor Logothetis has publicly quit his primate research after a campaign of harassment by animal rights activists, have turned attention to animal experiments in Germany. In order to encourage accurate and factual discourse on Germany research we have decided to  provide the facts on the numbers of animals used in research in Germany.

These statistics were originally published in December 2014, and can be found here.

Image Credit: www.speakingofresearch.com

Click to Enlarge

87% of experiments in Germany were conducted on rodents, primarily mice (73%) and rats (13%). Other commonly used species were fish (7%) and rabbits (3%). Dogs, cats and primates together accounted for less than 0.2% of research animals.

Statistics Germany animal research 2000 - 2013. Image Credit: www.speakingofresearch.com

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Since 2000, the total number of animal tests rose by 64% to a total of 2,977,152 in 2013, though this is slightly lower than in 2012. This reflects similar pattern in many other countries with strong biomedical research sectors such as the UK.

Change in Species of Animals Used in Germany for Animal Research 2000 - 2013. Image Credit: www.speakingofresearch.com

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The rise in animal numbers is almost exclusively from a large rise in the number of mice being used in research in Germany. Part of this reflects the versatility of genetically modified mice which have become a mainstay of research over the last decade.

See animal research statistics from other countries here.