EXCLUSIVE: Glasgow Uni carried out 49,000 procedures on animals last year

Large numbers

The University of Glasgow engages in a large range of research within different fields – but many students are unaware of just how many animal testing procedures are carried out per year.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Tab Glasgow requested to see the official figures.


In 2015, 49,082 animal testing procedures were carried out.

These were tests on amphibians, birds, cattle, fish, pigs, rabbits, rodents and sheep with the highest number of procedures carried out on rodents at a whopping 46,514.


In 2013 and 2014, the number of animals used was 44,579 and 54,811 respectively, implying that the number of animals used in Glasgow research is increasing each year. We are unable to say if this number increased in 2015 as the official reporting system changed from number of animals to number of procedures.


Glasgow University said: “Research using animals has made, and continues to make, a vital contribution to the understanding, treatment and cure of a range of major 21st century metabolic and infectious diseases in humans and animals.

“The University of Glasgow only uses animals in research programmes of the highest quality and where there are no alternatives.”

The purpose of the tests are for biomedical teaching and research, including research into human and animal diseases.

The university said: “The biomedical research is to advance knowledge and treatment of areas, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, auto-immune and inflammatory diseases, neurological conditions and animal diseases.”

The university do use alternative methods such as computer modelling, molecular biology, and research with human subjects, and vet staff are involved in supervising the welfare of the animals and provide advice where necessary.