Our statistical releases continue. Last week the Canadian Council on Animal Care released its report on the number of animals used in Canada for scientific purposes. The CCAC is an independent oversight body that oversees the ethical use of animals in research. They also develop guidelines and promote training programs to ensure that all individuals involved in animal research or welfare are properly trained before being allowed to work with the animals. The CCAC reports that in 2013, 3,023,184 animals were used for research, teaching and testing in Canada. This is an increase of 4.6% (134,175 animals), from the 2,889,009 animals that were used in 2012. These numbers include all vertebrates and Cephalapods, but do not include other invertebrates such as fruit flies or nematode worms.
Mice (40.8%), fish (32.1%) and rats (7.5%) once again were the three animal types most often studied. The majority of animals (61.6%) were used in studies of a fundamental nature/basic research, representing 1,897,831 animals. Category of invasiveness describes the level of pain and or distress that an animal could potentially be exposed to while under study. Category B, which could include breeding activities for domestic animal herds or genetically engineered rodents, accounted for 812,118 (26.4%) animals. In the highest category of invasiveness E, 78,294 (2.5%) animals were counted. This number is down from 93,242 (3.1%) counted in 2012. 48.1% of animals in E protocols were studied for testing purposes, which are required by the Canadian governments to ensure that new drugs, vaccines and products are safe and efficacious for use in humans and other animals. The three types of animals most frequently used in E protocols were fish, mice and guinea pigs.
More information about animal research in Canada can be found within the Speaking of Research Media Briefing Notes for Canada.
Speaking of Research