Increase in animal research in Northern Ireland

12 October 2018

Posted by: UAR news team

Category: Research & medical benefits

Increase in animal research in Northern Ireland 

 

·         24,756 procedures conducted in Northern Ireland in 2017

·         Procedures up 11.44% from 2016

·         Procedures in mice down by 19.21% from 2016

 

A report from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland shows that 24,756 procedures were conducted on animals in 2017. This represents approximately 0.6% of animal research across the UK.

 

Species

Experimental Procedures

%

Creation & Breeding of GA animals not used in experimental procedures

%

Total Procedures (2017)

% of total

Mice

10,076

50.23%

4,698

100%

14,774

59.68%

Rats

1,105

5.51%

0

 

1,105

4.46%

Cattle

6,241

31.11%

0

 

6,241

25.21%

Domestic fowl

916

4.57%

0

 

916

3.70%

Fish

402

2.00%

0

 

402

1.62%

Other animals

1,318

6.57%

0

 

1,318

5.32%

Total

20,058

100%

4,698

100%

24,756

100%

 

 

Species 

Total procedures (2016)

Total procedures (2017)

% change from 2016

Mice

18,287

14,774

-19.21%

Rats

567

1,105

94.89%

Cattle

1,072

6,241

482.18%

Domestic fowl

259

916

253.67%

Fish

310

402

29.68%

Other animals

1,568

1,014

-35.33%

Total

22,063

24,452

10.83%

 

In 2017 Northern Ireland saw a 11.44% increase in procedures when compared to 2016. There was a decrease in the number of procedures in mice and an increase in the number of procedures in cattle, rats, domestic fowl, and fish when compared the previous year. 

Of the 24,756 procedures completed in 2017, 4,698 (19%) related to the creation/breeding of genetically altered animals with the remaining 20,058 (81%) relating to experimental procedures.

Severity

Experimental Procedures

%

Creation & Breeding of GA animals not used in experimental procedures

%

Total Procedures (2017)

% of total

Sub-threshold

364

1.81%

1,477

31.44%

1,841

7.44%

Non-recovery

281

1.40%

0

0.00%

281

1.14%

Mild

11,460

57.13%

2,202

46.87%

13,662

55.19%

Moderate

7,550

37.64%

951

20.24%

8,501

34.34%

Severe

403

2.01%

68

1.45%

471

1.90%

 

Severity assessments undertaken for the 20,058 experimental procedures indicated that 1.8% were assessed as sub-threshold; 57.1% as mild; 37.6% as moderate; 2% as severe and 1.4% as non-recovery.

In Northern Ireland, 59.5% (14,719) of procedures were undertaken for the purpose of basic research. 5,152 of these procedures were undertaken in cattle for the purpose of understanding the animals’ immune systems and all these procedures in cattle were classified as ‘mild’.

Northern Ireland regulates its animal research and compiles its statistics separately from the rest of the UK (regulated by the Home Office). Every year, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland produces a detailed report explaining what animals were used in different types of research over the year. The research is carefully regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986.

In 2017, England, Scotland and Wales reported 3,789,373 procedures on animals, of which 93.4% were on mice, fish and rats. No primates have been used in experiments in Northern Ireland in over a decade. 

More details on Northern Irish statistics can be found here: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/statistics-scientific-procedures-living-animals-northern-ireland