Why is animal research necessary?

The use of animals in research is essential to the development of new and more effective methods for diagnosing and treating diseases that affect both humans and animals. Scientists use animals to learn more about health problems, and to assure the safety of new medical treatments.

Is it morally right to use animals for research?

Without the use of animals in research, we would not have many of the advances of modern medicine. Many experiments cause pain to the animals involved or reduce their quality of life in other ways. Animal experimenters are very aware of this ethical problem and acknowledge that experiments should be made as humane as possible. They also agree that it's wrong to use animals if alternative testing methods would produce equally valid results.

Aren’t animals too different from humans to tell us anything useful?

Animals share a huge amount of similarities with humans. Humans and other animals have much more in common than they have differences. Mice share over 90% of their genes with humans. A mouse has the same organs as a human, in the same places, doing the same things. Most of their basic chemistry, cell structure and bodily organisation are the same as ours. Fish and tadpoles share enough characteristics with humans to make them very useful in research.

Why has the number of procedures in the UK increased year upon year?

Whilst every attempt is made to minimise the number of procedures undertaken in research, there has been an overall increase over the last decade due to the use of genetically-modified (GM) mice. If these breeding figures were to be excluded, the total number of procedures carried out year upon year would decrease slightly.