Northern Ireland Animal Research Numbers, 2018

Posted: by UAR news team on 11/11/19

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Northern Ireland Animal Research Numbers, 2018

Procedures carried out on animals in Northern Ireland, 2018

·         28,790 procedures carried out in Northern Ireland in 2018

·         Total procedures up 16.3% from 2017

·         Procedures in fish up 335% from 2017

A report from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland shows that 28,790 procedures were carried out on animals in 2018. This represents approximately 0.8% of animal research across the UK.

Species 

Experimental Procedures 

Creation & Breeding of GA animals not used in experimental procedures 

Total Procedures (2018) 

% change from 2017 

Mice 

16,822 (70.44%) 

4,907 (100%) 

21,729 (75.47%) 

+47.08% 

Rats 

737 (3.09%) 

0 

737 (2.56%) 

-33.30% 

Cattle 

2,405 (10.07%) 

0 

2,405 (8.35%) 

-61.46% 

Domestic fowl 

235 (0.98%) 

0 

235 (0.82%) 

-74.34% 

Fish 

1,749 (7.32%) 

0 

1,749 (6.08%) 

+335.07% 

Other animals 

1,935 (8.10%) 

0 

1,935 (6.72%) 

+46.81% 

Total 

23,883 

4,907 

28,790 

+16.30% 

In 2018 a total of 28,790 procedures were carried out on animals in Northern Ireland, a 16.3% increase from 2017. There was an increase in the number of procedures carried out in mice and fish, and a decline in the number of procedures carried out in rats, cattle, and domestic fowl, when compared to the previous year. 

Of the 28,790 procedures carried out, 23,883 procedures (82.96%) were experimental and 4,907 procedures (17.04%) were related to the creation/breeding of genetically altered animals not used in experimental procedures. Experimental procedures and procedures related to the creation/breeding of genetically altered animals increased by 19.07% and 4.45%, respectively, when compared to 2017.

Severity 

Experimental Procedures 

Creation & Breeding of GA animals not used in experimental procedures 

Total Procedures (2018) 

Change from 2017 

Sub-threshold 

257 (1.12%) 

2,698 (55.95%) 

2,955 (10.64%) 

 

Non-recovery 

275 (1.20%) 

0 

275 (0.99%) 

 

Mild 

10,454 (45.53%) 

1,556 (32.27%) 

12,010 (43.23%) 

 

Moderate 

11,974 (52.15%) 

568 (32.27%) 

12,542 (45.14%) 

 

Severe 

923 (4.02%) 

85 (1.76%) 

1,008 (3.63%) 

 

Severity assessments show that 43.23% of all procedures carried out in Northern Ireland were categorised as mild. 45.14% of all procedures were categorised at moderate, 10.64% as sub-threshold, 3.63% as severe, and 0.99% as non-recovery.

In Northern Ireland 47.6% (13,690) of all procedures were undertaken for basic research; 29.4% (8,477) were undertaken for translational/applied research; 3.2% (914) were undertaken for regulatory purposes; 2.5% (726) related to protection of the natural environment; and 0.3% (76) were undertaken for forensic enquiries.

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 2018, England, Scotland and Wales carried out 3,519,917 procedures on animals, of which 92.6% 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

 

Last edited: 5 April 2022 09:23

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