Mice to Meet You: UCL Lab Mice Outnumber Students 2:1

Tab research reveals the animals UCL are keeping locked up right under our noses.

animal research animals foi science
  • UCL keeps thousands of animals on its grounds for testing
  • Over 40,000 mice
  • 10 ‘non-human’ primates locked up
  • Over 1.3 million animals were killed by unis across the country last year

In light of  Freedom of Information requests submitted by The Tab to every University in the UK, The London Tab can reveal that UCL keeps more than two mice per undergraduate on its property for animal testing, among a variety of other creatures.


We are legion


With UCL’s position as a major centre for medical research world-wide, the results are unsurprising, yet the sheer scale of animals kept on and around campus is overwhelming.

While other universities have released figures of the animals routinely killed as part of research, a separate FOI request to UCL was able to glean exactly how many animals are being kept in University buildings, including over 40,000 mice and most alarmingly, 10 ‘non-human’ primates. We’re glad they cleared that part up.


The Tab was worried there for a second


Although stereotypically a staple of lab research, the humble guinea pig numbered only a humble 15, with fish and amphibians proving far more popular.

Despite the University not providing the number of animals killed, they did release the amount of animals supplied to UCL for research in 2012. With the number of rats brought in at 5620, and the current number held at 2614, we can only wonder where the other 3006 went.

The information was given freely by the University. UCL vowed to be more open about their use of animal research back in 2012, signing a ‘declaration of openness,’ admitting a recent drop in the public acceptance of the practice. Former Provost Malcolm Grant stated that animal research was “an important part of the scientific process, delivering real benefits in terms of safe drugs and new medical procedures. However, there is still work to do in terms of explaining the importance of this work.”


The amount of animals kept at UCL for research: 

Mouse 40914

Rat 2614

Amphibia 552

Rabbit 63

Guinea pig 15

Gerbils 14

Non-Human Primate 10

Fish 34,296


Even though UCL is a leading research institute,  its animal research pales in comparison to other Universities. Freedom of Information requests by The Tab National have shed light on animal research statistics in the rest of the country: 

– Edinburgh top the table killing a whopping 226,341 animals every year predominantly using mice, fish and rats for their research.

-At Oxford five mice are killed for every one student studying at the university.

403 pigs were killed at British universities in the last year.