Speaking as statistics on animal testing show a one per cent drop in licensed procedures, Ms Featherstone reaffirmed the government’s aim to reduce use of animals in scientific research across the board.
Read the full press release on The National Archives webpages.
High standards of animal protection
She said: ‘This government is committed to continuing with the highest standards of animal protection.
‘We are also committed to ending the testing of household products on animals and to working to reduce the use of animals in scientific research, and work is currently underway to see how this can be achieved whilst maintaining the UK’s position as a leader in scientific advancement.
‘The UK already has one of the most rigorous systems in the world to ensure that animal research and testing is strictly regulated. We ensure procedures are only carried out where completely necessary and that suffering is kept to an absolute minimum.’
Numbers of procedures down
Compiled from returns provided by 100 per cent of project licence holders, Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals 2009 show:
- the number of licensed procedures started in 2009 fell slightly to just over 3.6m scientific procedures, a fall of 37,000 or one per cent
- the total, excluding breeding of genetically modified animals and harmful mutants, fell by 8 per cent (180,000) to 2.1m
- procedures using non-human primates fell 7 per cent
- dogs, cats, horses and non-human primates (animals which receive special protection), were used in less than one per cent of procedures