The Animals

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Many people feel strongly about animal research. Not so many really know which animals are used, how many, or what is done to protect their welfare.

For every animal used to test a medicine 15 people are used.

More than 77% of research animals are rats and mice.

It takes about 15 years to develop a new medicine.

Just about every medicine that you have ever used has been tested on animals.

The law says you can't use a research animal if there is any alternative.

No chimpanzees, gorillas or other great apes can be used in research (except for human beings, of course).

No animals can be used to test cosmetics in the UK.

The government has to approve every experiment using animals in the UK.

All research animals are looked after by a trained vet who is available 24/7.

Animal research facilities are inspected on average every month. The inspectors can go anywhere and arrive without warning.

The number of animals used for research has fallen by about a third since 1970.

Three licences are needed for every animal experiment.

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Leprosy was once one of the most feared diseases in the world. Which animal helped scientists find a vaccine?

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Drosophila melanogaster is hugely important for studying genetics. But what kind of a creature is it?

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Which animal is used more than any other in medical research?

Which animal is used more than any other in medical research?

Which animal is used more than any other in medical research?

Which of these creatures helped scientists uncover some human sex secrets?

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Scientists use the best animal for the science, whether that is an armadillo or the tiny zebrafish. But this is at the heart of most medical discoveries.

The range of animals that have been used in animal research is huge, although most research uses rats and mice.

Dog

In fact, about eight out of ten of all research animals are rats or mice.

Only one in 500 research animals is a dog. The RSPCA and other animal charities put down many more pet and stray dogs every year.

The only great ape that can be used for medical research is the human being, with informed consent.

Some animals cannot be used for research. It is illegal in the UK to use the great apes such as gorillas, chimpanzees, orang-utans or bonobos.

The average person eats 1,160 chickens in their life. - But only two mice and a rat will be used per person for medical research.

The number of animals used in research has fallen a lot since 1970. Just under 4 million animals are used in the UK every year, compared with 1.5 billion animals killed for food.

Some animal research can be replaced with cell and tissue studies. - If a fruit fly can be used instead of a rabbit, that's what you have to do.

The law protecting research animals is very strict. All researchers and animal technologists must apply the '3Rs'.

Inspectors check every unit on average once a month to make sure all the animals are well cared for and the licences are being properly applied.

Every animal experiment in the UK must be licensed by the government. Licences are only given if there is no other way to get the scientific information.