Revealed: 19,000 cases of animal testing at York in the past three years

The University won’t tell us how many died

The University of York has revealed how many animals it used in scientific tests from 2013 to 2015.

A Freedom of Information request has shown that nearly 20,000 animals were subjected to experimental procedures, which under current Home Office legislation, are defined as something ‘likely to cause pain, distress or lasting harm’ to a living animal, as defined within the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The statistics reveal all animals involved in procedures undertaken with a severity banding between mild and severe.

In 2013, 6,837 animals were tested. In 2014, the number rose to 7,120, while in 2015 it fell to 5,440, leaving the total number of animals involved in procedures in this period at 19,397, more than there are students at York. The animal species used in this period were rats, mice, fish and frogs.

The University did not hold information of how many individual tests were carried out on animals, nor did it reveal how many animals were killed in the course of the experiments.

If the rate of animal involvement in procedures in 2016 is anything comparable to that of the three years prior, it is safe to assume that the number has now exceeded 20,000.

The purposes for the procedure were wide-ranging; the full list of procedures which involved animals is as follows:

  • – Diagnosis and therapy of breast and prostate cancers;
  • – Initiation and regulation of intestinal inflammation;
  • – Dynamics of muscle wasting;
  • – The development of the immune system;
  • – Prevention and treatment for Type 1 diabetes;
  • – Bacterial infection and its prevention;
  • – Vaccines and new medicines to combat parasitic disease;
  • – Process of embryonic development;
  • – Mechanisms affecting brain function.