The number of animal experiments that take place in the UK is continuing to rise. The publication this week of the Home Office’s annual ‘Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals’ reveals that 4.12 million animals were used in UK experiments last year.
Reportedly, over 2.1 million of these animals were used in experiments to create animals with Genetic Modifications (GM) or ‘Harmful Mutations.’
Deformed limbs, fused bones and painful swellings are all common ailments of GM animals, with scientists stating: “Many failures and unexpected effects of genetic modification go unrecorded in the scientific literature.”
The genetic modification of animals is often slammed as futile by it opponents who believe that such manipulations fail to overcome fundamental biological differences between humans and other animals. Thus rendering them poor ‘models’ for human diseases.
The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) President Jan Creamer said:
“We are deeply concerned that genetic modification of animals is being allowed to simply increase year on year. NAVS investigations have revealed a great deal of pain and suffering is caused by breeding GM animals. ‘Donors’ and ‘parents’ are subjected to repeated surgeries, egg collection, implantation and repeated blood and tissue testing. Their babies can suffer severe deformities, painful swellings, fused lungs and premature death. The vast majority of babies are discarded and killed because only 3-5% show the desired trait.”
Although the number of animal experiments in the UK increased last year to 4,121,582, there has been a slight decrease in the number of animals experimented on. Which means that the animals are increasingly being re-used and suffering in multiple experiments.
Over 3,500 dogs, mainly beagles, were experimented on. The animals are force-fed compounds such as agricultural chemicals or have toxic substances pumped into their veins, which can make them so sick that they die in agony.
Over 3,200 monkeys were experimented on. Mainly used to test drugs or for neurological research, monkeys endure force-feeding or injections of experimental compounds. They have electrodes implanted into their brains and endure full body immobilization in restraint chairs while they are experimented on. At the end of the experiment, most monkeys are killed.
The UK Government is currently undertaking a review of secrecy in animal experiments, but there are fears that the UK could follow in the footsteps of the US, where draconian ‘ag-gag’ laws criminalize whistle-blowers and undercover investigators who reveal the reality of animal facilities.
There is strong and growing support from eminent individuals including Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais and Joanna Lumley to end the secrecy surrounding animal experiments.
NAVS President Jan Creamer added:
“It is a national disgrace that the number of animal experiments is rising, year on year, despite continuing advances in science and ever-growing public concern. More alternatives to animal experiments exist than ever before, yet more and more experiments are being performed on animals – the public deserves to know why. We have waited too long for transparency and public accountability on this issue.”
[Image Via Greeceexposed.com and Channel Four]