Category Archives: Statistics

Lack of sense about sentience and statistics

Two recent events have inspired a slew of bad reporting in the UK about animal research. The first was a vote in Parliament rejecting a call to describe animals as sentient into British law. The second was the publication of the Northern Irish statistics.

On 15th November, Parliament voted down an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill that stated “Obligations and rights contained within the EU Protocol on animal sentience set out in Article 13 of Title II of the Lisbon Treaty shall be recognised and available in domestic law on and after exit day, and shall be enforced and followed accordingly.” While there is no clear scientific definition of sentience, it has, in crude terms, been taken to mean the capacity to feel pain and/or emotion. The relevant part of the Lisbon Treaty (which Britain will withdraw from upon Brexit) reads:

In formulating and implementing the Union’s agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.

The amendment was rejected 313 votes to 295 (roughly down party lines). A few days later a number of articles began reflecting on this. A well-shared article in The Independent by Yas Necati claimed that the Government had voted “that all animals (apart from humans, of course) have no emotions or feelings, including the ability to feel pain.”

What seems to have been ignored is that the protection of sentient animals is already embodied in British law. Most animal use is governed by the Animal Welfare Act, 2006, which protects any animals where an: “appropriate national authority is satisfied, on the basis of scientific evidence, that animals of the kind concerned are capable of experiencing pain or suffering”. The act also includes provisions to be extended to invertebrates if they seem to be able to suffer or feel pain. Essentially the Animal Welfare Act is an entire piece of UK domestic law dedicated to protecting sentient animals.

For animals in laboratories, the relevant legislation is not the Animal Welfare Act, but the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 (better known as ASPA). This act protects all vertebrate species, and invertebrates considered potentially able to suffer or feel pain (currently only cephalapods). The act covers all “regulated procedures” defined as those “which may have the effect of causing that animal pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm”.

Importantly, both of these acts are in domestic UK law, and so will not be affected by any future withdrawal from the European Unioin. So it seems odd that someone would claim the Government dos not believe that animals can feel pain.

It also seems odd that Necati would then claim that:

Under EU law it is illegal to test on animals for cosmetics like body wash and nail varnish. But this could easily be scrapped just like the recognition of animals as sentient beings has been.

We are looking at a very grim future for animals, where hunting is reintroduced, labs are free to test on animals with as much cruelty as they wish (and no pain relief) and farms are less and less regulated.

Necati may wish to note that the UK had already banned the use of animals to test cosmetics or their ingredients in 1998 – a full fifteen years before the EU laws came into effect. So it is unclear why this domestic ban would change upon leaving the EU. Similarly ASPA came into law in 1986 – 27 years before the EU Directive 2010/63 covering animals in research across the EU. Importantly, ASPA, 1986 was updated in 2013 to transpose aditional laws brought about by the EU Directive – this means that the EU Directive is effectively within UK law and will remain unaffected by Brexit.

The media frenzy whipped up over this issue has been such that many politicians have had to clarify the Government position, with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, also referring to it in her weekly Prime Ministers Questions:

We also recognise and respect the fact that animals are sentient beings and should be treated accordingly. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 provides protection for all animals capable of experiencing pain or suffering which are under the control of man. But I reaffirm to her that we will be ensuring that we maintain and enhance our animal welfare standards when we leave the EU.

Yas Necati was not the only one to be mistaken on this issue. Cruelty Free International (CFI) sent out a press release to Northern Irish press that combined a discussion of the annual statistical release with the parliamentary activities. As usual, there was a lot wrong with the CFI press release – not least that they managed to get the overall number of procedures in Northern Ireland wrong by mixing up the 2015 and 2016 statistics (this is literally the main number in the whole release). We decided to fully debunk the nonsense of the press release in a picture:

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This is not the first time CFI have misused the severity statistics by neglecting to include experiments involving breeding and maintaining GA animals. See the table below for the full statistics (CFI only looked at the column marked “total experimental procedures” despite clearly referring to all procedures in their press release (see first blue section).

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Speaking of Research will continue to call out nonsense and misinformation wherever we see it.

Spain, Estonia and Northern Ireland release 2016 animal statistics

Speaking of Research try to keep on top of the latest statistics coming from governments around the world. This post will look at the 2016 statistical releases in Estonia, Northern Ireland and Spain.

Estonia

According to figures released by the Ministry of Rural Affairs, Estonia conducted 3,726 procedures on animals in 2016, a 10% fall from 2015.

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The number of all species used, with the exception of mice, dropped. The biggest was the change from 566 experiments on cattle in 2015 down to 0 in 2016. There was also a big reversal in last year’s rise in fish use. No dogs, cats or primates were used. While mice, rats, birds and fish are the most common species in most countries, it is surprising to find a country where these species account for 100% of animals used.

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Severity is slightly higher across the board than in previous years, however, given the small numbers involved these numbers are likely to vary more from year to year. All 403 severe studies were conducted in mice.

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Trend over time in animals used in research in Estonia. Click to Enlarge.

There is a downward trend in Estonian animal studies, however, given the small numbers and limited data it is hard to draw any conclusions. At 3,726 procedures, a large university in the UK or US might conduct 50X more experiments than the whole of Estonia.

Other information:

  • 93% was basic research of which: 50% of studies were into oncology, 18% for Nervous system studies, 16% into endocrine systems
  • 963 procedures (26%) involved genetically altered animals, and 2,763 procedures did not (74%)

Source of Estonian Statistics: https://www.agri.ee/et/loomkatse-korraldamine

See previous years’ reports:

Mice were the most common species used in Estonia, Northern Ireland, and Spain.
Image Credit: Jane Hurst, University of Liverpool.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland reports its animal experiments separately from the rest of the UK. While the UK Home Office regulates  (and compiles statistics for) animal research in Great Britain, the Department of Heath of Northern Ireland regulates for Northern Ireland. On 20th November they reported that 22,214 procedures were conducted on animals in 2016, this was down 1.3% from 2015. This accounts for approximately 0.6% of all animal research in the UK.

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A 7% rise in mice is offset by falls in farm animals and birds. Among other mammals, there were 155 procedures on cats, and 73 procedures on dogs, though most of these were for “animal diseases and disorders”. There were no studies on primates. Overall the most common species used was mice (82.3%) followed by farm animals (10.5%), and rats (2.6%).CC-BY: www.speakingofresearch.com

The combined severity statistics show around 57% is subthreshold, non-recovery or mild, 40% is moderate and 3.4% is severe. This gives a higher proportion of moderate or severe studies than in the rest of the UK. Nearly all severe experiments were on mice.

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Trend over time in animals used in research in Northern Ireland. Click to Enlarge.

Animal experiments have risen around 20% over the last decade, from about 18 thousand to a little over 22 thousand. In 2009 there was a one-off rise as a result of 3o,000 procedures on birds to address animal health concerns.

Other points to note:

  • The most common uses of animals were Basic Research (56.4%), Creation and Breeding of GA animals not used in experimental procedures (22.9%), and Translation/Applied research (17.3%). The low levels of regulatory research (1.4%) in N. Ireland is primarily because these studies are done elsewhere in the UK [Table 1]
  • 97% of animals were bred in the UK, with the remaining 3% being bred elsewhere in the EU [Table 2]
  • The number of animals used for the first time was 21,247. The remaining 67 procedures were from animals re-used after previous studies [Table 1a]
  • 36.5% of studies involved genetically altered animals, 63.5% did not [Table 4]

Source of Nothern Ireland Statistics: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/statistics-scientific-procedures-living-animals-northern-ireland

See previous years’ reports:

Spain

The Ministerio De Agricultura Y Pesca has published statistics showing Spain conducted 917,986 procedures on animals in 2016, up 7% from 2015.

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There were moderate rises in mice (up 10%) and fish (up 28%), with drops in birds (down 11%) and rabbits (down 10%). After a large rise in the use of Cephalalopoda (e.g. Octopuses, squid and cuttlefish) in 2015, the number has dropped back to its 2014 levels.

 

 

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Overall, 93% of procedures were conducted on mice, rats, birds or fish – about average in Europe. Dogs, cats, and primates together accounted for less than 0.2% of research in Spain.

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According to the retrospective assessment of animal suffering (mandated by the EU Directive), we can see 58% of experiments were mild or non-recovery (where the animal is anaesthetised before surgery and not woken up).

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Trend over time in animals used in research in Spain. Click to Enlarge.

The number of procedures in Spain has crept up since 2014, but is still over 40% below it’s historical highs in the late 2000s.

Other information of note:

  • Most studies were for Basic research (48%), followed by applied/translational research (29%), and regulatory research (17% – the “animal testing” bit).
  • The 917,896 procedures were made up of 909,475 procedures on animals used for the first time, and 8,511 procedures on animals that were reused.
  • 99.8% of animals were bred within the EU

Source of Nothern Ireland Statistics: http://www.mapama.gob.es/es/ganaderia/temas/produccion-y-mercados-ganaderos/bienestanimal/en-la-investigacion/Informes_y_publicaciones.aspx

See previous years’ reports:

Openness by the numbers: Ten universities conduct one third of all UK animal research

The ten British universities which conduct the most animal research have come together to proactively publicise their exact figures to the public and media. The press release by the ten institutions was coordinated by Understanding Animal Research. It is the second time that universities have come together to publicise their numbers.

Of the 46 universities which are signed up to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK, 29 of them have their numbers published openly on the website. These numbers include all vertebrates – every mouse, rat and fish, as well as larger species (but not invertebrates like fruit flies and nematode worms, which are not currently regulated species in any country).

The UK Home Office animal research statistics show 1,938,638 procedures on animals at universities and medical schools in Great Britain in 2016 (Northern Ireland conducted an additional 17,615 in 2015; 2016 figures are not available). Of the 28 that publish statistics (QUB are in Northern Ireland, which produces national statistics separately), their combined number of procedures is 1,703,657. This means 88% of all procedures at universities in Great Britain can be found in statistics freely available on university websites.

Image by Understanding Animal Research

The top ten universities accounted for over 70% of all animal research at universities in Great Britain.

The University of Oxford conducted the most procedures for the second year running. Last year (2015 statistics) the top five were:

  1. University of Oxford (226,214)
  2. University of Edinburgh (212,695)
  3. University College London (202,554)
  4. University of Cambridge (181,080)
  5. King’s College London (175,296)

The list is remarkably similar to 2016. In fact, the top seven universities have been identical for both years (though slightly reordered). These seven universities are also all in the Top 60 Universities in the World (according to THE World University Ranking; all of the 2016 Top 10 appears in the THE Top 150 Universities in the World). The University of Oxford, which uses the most animals in the UK, is also ranked the top of the World University Rankings.

The fact that these ten universities have chosen not only to publicise their animal numbers on their website but also to proactively press release it to national and local press, serves two purposes. Firstly, it shows a commitment to openness, embodied the Concordat on Openness. Secondly, it helps tackle misinformation from animal rights groups that make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to universities and then press release the results with emotive headlines like “Disappointing lack of progress at UK universities as worst offenders for animal testing are revealed”(By Cruelty Free International). Animal rights groups have often skewed information when it comes to animal numbers in the UK, as happened when PETA described the animals used in the 2015 statistics.

By publishing the statistics themselves, the university cannot be accused of hiding away its animal research. It also allows them to provide some context to the numbers – allowing them to explain the types of research these animals are being used for. Take a look at this great infographic by the University of Manchester.

In publicising these numbers, Professor David Lomas, UCL Vice-Provost (Health) said:

“As a world-leading medical research institution, animal research forms a small but vital part of UCL’s biomedical research as we seek new ways to benefit human health. As there are many misconceptions about how animal studies are conducted and regulated, and the considerable benefit they yield, it is important that we talk about it clearly and openly to show how it contributes to medical advances and how we are working to reduce, replace and refine our use of animals where possible.”

We hope these universities continue to publicise their animal research in the future.

Speaking of Research

While mice remain the most common species used at universities in the UK, zebrafish are an increasingly popular model. Image of zebrafish at KCL. Image Credit: SpeakingofResearch.com

Ireland produces 2016 statistics on animal research

Speaking of Research try to keep on top of the latest statistics coming from governments around the world. Ireland’s 2016 statistics were recently released by the Health Products Regulatory Authority of Ireland (HPRA). Ireland carried out 226,934 procedures on animals in 2016, 1% less than in 2015.

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Animals used in research in Ireland in 2016. Click to Enlarge

A procedure is defined as “any use of an animal for scientific or educational purposes, which may cause the animal a level of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm, equivalent to, or higher than, that caused by the introduction of a needle in accordance with good veterinary practice.” This definition includes the development and care of any genetically modified animal in which pain or distress may result.

Mice continue to be the most commonly used species at almost 85%. Together, mice, rats, and fish account for 94% of all animal procedures. No non-human primates were used in Ireland in 2016. Dogs and cats accounted for less than 0.3% of all animals used. Dog numbers fell by almost 40%, while there was a large rise (65%) in the number of procedures on cats. Both species were used exclusively for veterinary research. Once again, 99% of animals used in Ireland were bred within the European Union (EU).

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There was a pig fall in cattle compared with 2015 (down 46%). According to the HPRA,  “cattle are used only for agricultural research studies (for the benefit of the species or the agricultural industry)”.

According to the HPRA report, 75% of the total number of animals used was for regulatory purposes, this is “use of animals in procedures with a view to satisfying legal requirements for producing, placing and maintaining products/substances on the market, including safety and risk assessment for food and feed“.  The next most common use was for basic research (13%) followed by translational and applied research (12%).

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Severity of animal research procedures in the Ireland in 2016

The report showed that 44% of procedures were classified as mild, 26% moderate, 29% severe, and 1% non-recovery. 99% of severe procedures were on mice. Page 17-18 of the report has definitions for mild, moderate, severe and non-recovery.

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Trend over time in animals used in research in Ireland. Click to Enlarge.

Since 2014, the number of animal procedures in Ireland has been fairly constant at around 230,000.

Source of Irish Statistics: https://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/publications-forms/newsletters/hpra-sap-annual-statistical-report-2016ca190a2697826eee9b55ff00008c97d0.pdf?Status=Master&sfvrsn=7

See previous years’ reports:

animal testing, animal research, vivisection, animal experiment

Mice are the most common species used in Ireland

How many animals were used in Poland and Finland in 2016?

Speaking of Research try to keep on top of the latest statistics coming from governments around the world. This post will look at the 2016 statistical releases in Poland and Finland.

Finland

Finland reported that 105,615 procedures were conducted on animals in 2016, a 9% rise from 2015.

According to statistics provided by Finnish authorities (but not required by the EU), 168,548 animals were “bred and euthanized without procedures”. This figure is likely to include both surplus animals bred, and animals bred to supply tissue samples for in vitro studies (but not genetically altered and not undergoing any procedure).

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Animals used in research in Finland in 2016. Click to Enlarge

The rise in numbers mainly comes from the increases in mice (+16%) and birds (104%). This is the second year in which the number of birds used has doubled. Proportionally, Finland uses more dogs than in most countries – 3.8% vs around 0.5% in other EU countries. However, on closer inspection, it turns out that 3,582 procedures were taking blood samples from pet dogs to study genes involved in canine diseases, and 244 procedures were pet dogs participating in (veterinary) patient studies, leaving only 135 dogs used in laboratory settings (nearly all in toxicity and safety tests, nearly all of which were of mild severity). Similarly, all 259 procedures on cats were blood samples from pet cats to study genes involved in feline diseases.

Most research was conducted on mice (66%), rats (12%) fish (10%) or birds (7%), together accounting for 95% of all research procedures. No primates were used.

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Trend over time in animals used in research in Finland. Click to Enlarge.

Over the last decade, the number of animal procedures in Finland has been falling, approximately halving over ten years. Given the relatively small numbers of animals used in Finland (numerous US and UK universities use more animals in a year than all Finnish institutions put together), changes in overall numbers can be the result of just a handful of studies starting or finishing.

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Severity of animal research procedures in the Finland in 2016

Finland, like all EU countries, reports the severity of every procedure after they have been completed. Mild and non-recovery accounted for 61.3% of procedures (60.3% in 2015), moderate was 30.1% (down from 33.9% in 2015) and severe was 8.5% (up from 5.8% in 2015). All but one severe procedure was on mice and rats (the last was on pigs).

Finally, 41.1% of procedures involved genetically altered animals (mostly mice and fish), 58.9% did not.

Source of Finnish Statistics: http://www.laaninhallitus.fi/lh/etela/hankkeet/ellapro/home.nsf/pages/BFD5CAFA94D8E7C7C225728A00475B11?opendocument

See previous years’ reports:

Mice are the most common species of animal used in both Finland and Poland.

Poland

Poland reported 184,489 procedures on animals in 2016, a 6% rise from the previous year. It should be noted that while we compare to 2015, there were numerous issues relating to that statistical release and as a result these “changes from 2015” should be taken with a pinch of salt.

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Animals used in research in Poland in 2016. Click to Enlarge

The biggest rise has been in fish, which rose 266% from 2015. This was slightly offset by falls in mice (-3%), rats (-10%) and birds (-38%).

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93% of all research in Poland is on mice, rats, birds and fish – similar to most other EU countries. Prcoedures on dogs and cats together add up to less than 0.05% of research (85 procedures), and there were no procedures on primates.

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Trend over time in animals used in research in Poland. Click to Enlarge.

There appears to be a downward trend in animal research over the last six years, though errors in previous data should mean that readers should take figures with a pinch of salt. Like Finland, given the relatively small numbers of animals used in Poland (numerous US and UK universities use more animals in a year than all Polish institutions put together), changes in overall numbers can be the result of just a handful of studies starting or finishing.

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Severity of animal research procedures in the Poland in 2016. The total number of procedures is higher than previously mentioned as it includes 1,210 animals that had already been involved in previous studies.

Poland reports the severity of every procedure after they have been completed. Mild and non-recovery accounted for 51%% of procedures, moderate was 26%  and severe was 23%. The proportion of severe experiments is higher than in most other EU countries. This may be a result of slightly different guidelines currently in Poland for classifying severity.

Source of Polish Statistics: http://www.bip.nauka.gov.pl/sprawozdania_zwierzeta/

See previous years’ reports:

zebrafish

There was a threefold increase in the number of fish used in Poland in 2016

Canada sees rise in animal research numbers in 2016

The Canadian Council on Animal Care is the national peer-review organization responsible for setting, maintaining, and overseeing the implementation of high standards for animal ethics and care in science throughout Canada.  Yesterday it released the 2016 statistics describing the numbers and species of animals utilized in science.  It shows that 4,308,921 animals were used in research in 2016. The report also included statistics regarding the purpose and severity of the research procedures.

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Animals used in research in Canada in 2016. Click to Enlarge

CCAC certified institutions utilized 4,308,921 animals in 2016, representing a 20.7% increase over 2015.  While the vast majority of Canadian institutions report animal use numbers to the CCAC, it is unclear if the general trend of increasing animal use number is reflective of an actual increase in the number of animals participating in studies or rather that more institutions are participating in the CCAC certification process.  Further information on the CCAC can be found here.

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Fish were the most utilized species representing 1,602,547 (37.2%) of all animals.  This was consistent with the 2014 data but a change for the 2015 statistics that saw mice as the primary species.  Mice still saw a 7% increase to 1,500,156 (34.8%) animals.  While different from many other countries cattle maintain their position as the third most reported species with 526,249 (12.2%).

Fish, mice and cattle together represent 84.2%, with rats and birds making up a further 10.2%. Dogs (15,093), cats (8,526) and primates (7,556) together continue to represent less than 0.8% of all animals used in science in Canada.  It is worthwhile noting that these numbers also include 30 cephalopod invertebrates but do not include other invertebrate animals that are also extensively used in research, such as the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster and nematode worms.

Trends

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The trend over time in animals used in research in Canada. Click to Enlarge.

Animal studies have been increasing steadily among CCAC members over the past twenty years – more than doubling over the time period. This may reflect similar increases in biomedical research funding by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR is not the only organization funding biomedical research in Canada).

Severity

Severity of Animal Procedures in Cananda - Animal Experiments 2016 Table

Severity of animal research in the Canada in 2016. Total number of procedures is higher than number of animals due to reused animals being counted more than once.

In comparison to the 2015 statistics, there was an overall total percentage increase of 7.4% to 38.5% of animals in the lowest severity category.  This category would include the breeding or animals that were anesthetized and did not wake from procedures.  Animals experiencing mild severity (ie. a blood sample or injection) saw a drop of 6.6% to 30.8%.  While animals representing moderate (ie. surgery with appropriate pain control) and severe (ie. pain-related research) remained relatively consistent at 28.5% and 2.2% respectively.  The purpose of animal experiments was for basic research (57.2%); development of products or appliances for human or veterinary medicine (14.1%); studies into human and animal diseases or disorders (12.9%); education and training (9.7%); and finally regulatory tests (“animal testing”) (6.1%).

Michael Brunt

Source of Canadian Statistics: https://www.ccac.ca/en/news-and-events/news/2017/explore-the-ccac-animal-data-report-2016.html

See previous years’ reports:

Animal Research Statistics in Austria, Hungary and Slovenia

Speaking of Research try to keep on top of the latest statistics coming from governments around the world. This post will look at three countries which have recently published their 2016 statistics. All three are regulated by EU Directive 2010/63 which requires countries to produce national statistics on their animal use.

Austria

Austria reported 236,459 procedures on animals in 2016, a 4% rise on the previous year.

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Procedures on animals in Austria for research in 2016. Click to Enlarge

The rise in animal experiments appears to be mainly due to large increases in the number of birds (mainly chickens) used (up 116%), other mammals (up 89%; mainly pigs) and rats (up 23%).

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The vast majority of research was conducted on mice (81.2%), with rabbits (6.2%) and fish (4.4%) the next most common species. It is interesting that Austria, rabbits are the second most common species, a fact not seen anywhere else in Europe, though neighbouring Germany also has a relatively high number (4% of total). No primates were used in Austria in 2016 (or the previous two years) and dogs and cats accounted for less than 0.08% of all animals used despite the rises in the number of procedures for the former.

Trend over time in animal experiments in Austria. Click to Enlarge.

From historical statistics, we can see that while there has been an overall decline of almost 50% since 1990, the numbers have been edging upwards since their nadir in 1999. These numbers tend to reflect changing science funding environments within the country.

This year was the third year where there were retrospective assessment and reporting of severity (i.e. reporting how much an animal actually suffered rather than how much it was predicted to suffer prior to the study). Reassuringly the proportions in each severity banding were similar to previous years, suggesting the system has been well understood. The report showed that 2.5% as non-recovery (4% in 2015) , 63% of procedures were classed as mild (60% in 2015), 27.5% as moderate (24% in 2015), and 7.3% as severe (down from 12% in 2015).

Finally the statistics note that 41.4% of procedures involved genetically altered animals. These were mainly mice and zebrafish, but also included rats and other fish.

See previous reports:

Hungary

Hungary reported 170,075 procedures on animals in 2016, a 7.9% fall on the previous year.

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Procedures on animals in Hungary for research in 2016. Click to Enlarge

The fall in animal experiments appears to be mainly due to falls in the number of procedures on birds (down 5%), rats (down 9%), reptiles and amphibians (down 25%) and fish (down 72%).

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Together, mice, rats and birds account for 84% of all procedures in Hungary, this figure rises to over 95% when fish, reptiles, amphibians and guinea pigs are included. The use of primates went from 3 in 2015, down to 0 in 2016 (presumably after a specific study ended). Dogs and cats accounted for less than 0.4% of all animals used.

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Trend over time in animal experiments in Hungary. Click to Enlarge.

Using the trend graph we can see how – bar an anomalous year in 2013 – there has been a steady downward trend in animal procedures in Hungary from over 300,000 in 2007, to less than 175,000 in 2016. Perhaps coincidentally the 2013 high point coincides with the implementation of the EU Directive (and its rules around counting procedures), meaning it is possible that this figure is a statistical error caused by incorrect data from the first year under a new counting regime.

This year was the third year where there were retrospective assessment and reporting of severity (i.e. reporting how much an animal actually suffered rather than how much it was predicted to suffer prior to the study). The report showed that 19% as non-recovery (8% in 2015) , 49% of procedures were classed as mild (71% in 2015), 24% as moderate (15% in 2015), and 8.2% as severe (up from 6% in 2015).

Lastly, of note, only 4.7% of animal procedures were on genetically altered animal (up from 2.8% in 2015) – a much lower proportion than, say, the UK, where almost half of procedures were the breeding of a genetically altered animal.

See previous reports:

Slovenia

Slovenia reported 6,819 procedures on animals in 2016, a 25% fall on the previous year.

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Procedures on animals in Sloevnia for research in 2016. Click to Enlarge

The main changes was a 24% fall in the use of mice. This is particularly noteworthy given the 22% fall between 2014 and 2015. Neither fish nor horses were used in 2016 (there were 57 and 2 procedures respectively). The only rise was in pigs which went from 8 procedures to 32 in 2016.

As is the case in many smaller countries (but not all), most of the research was animal testing for regulatory purposes (66%), followed by translational and applied research (26%) and basic research (6%).

See previous reports:

That’s all for today but we will endeavor to provide the latest statistics as they are published by national governments. All our statistics can be found on the Statistics Overview page.