The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, has reported on the 2013 animal testing statistics, which were recently released by the Health Ministry’s Council for Experimentation of Animals.
The total numbers rose 6% to 299,144 animals, of which 86% were mice or rats. This total is still much lower than the peak of over 340,000 animals were used in 2007. Rodent use has increased since 2010, from 81% of the total up to 86%, with an increase in genetically modified rodents likely to be influencing this rise.
Non-rodent species have declined since 2010, with dogs and cats falling to 0, and primate use falling by almost a third, from 33 down to 25.
Most research, 80%, is conducted at universities and research institutes, while only 10% were carried out by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Cosmetic testing is illegal in Israel, as is the sale and import of cosmetics and cleaning materials tested on animals.
Like the UK, and several other EU countries (e.g. Denmark, Germany, Switzerland), the Israeli Government publishes a breakdown, by species, of the number of animals involved in experiments every year. This proactive publication of the stats is a step in the right direction for openness in animal research.
On July 10th 2014 (Thursday), the UK Home Office will publish the 2013 statistics for animal research in England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland publishes it statistics separately, though its numbers are very small by comparison). We will provide a detailed post on this on Thursday as we have in previous years.
Speaking of Research
Israeli data from:
2013 – Ido Efrati, Haaretz, Israeli science used 6% more animals in testing last year
2012 – Dan Even, Haaretz, Number of animal experiments up for first time since 2008
2011 – Dan Even, Haaretz, Only 3 percent of animals survive lab experiments
2010 – Ilan Lior, Haaretz, Study shows steady decline in use of animals for lab testing in Israel