Top Ten Universities for Animal Research Announced

Top Ten Universities for Animal Research Announced

Issued: Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:28:00 GMT

Understanding Animal Research, an organisation promoting greater openness about animal research, has today released a list of the ten universities in the UK that conduct the highest number of animal procedures – those used in medical, veterinary and scientific research. These statistics are freely available on the universities’ websites as part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and openness.

The figures show that the ten institutions collectively conducted over one third of all UK animal research in 2017. All ten universities appear in the QS 2018 World University Ranking Top 200 and seven appear in the Top 50.

The top ten institutions conducted 1.32 million procedures, 35% of the 3.79 million procedures conducted in Great Britain in 2017. Over 99% of these procedures were carried out on rodents or fish, and in line with national data they were almost evenly split between experimental work and the breeding of genetically modified animals.

The ten universities are listed below alongside the total number of procedures that they carried out in 2017. Each institution’s name links to its animal research webpage which includes more detailed statistics. This is the third year in a row universities have come together to publicise their collective numbers and examples of their research.

Institution

Number of Procedures

University of Oxford

236,429

University of Edinburgh

225,366

University College London

214,570

University of Cambridge

157,975

King’s College London

121,741

University of Manchester

104,863

University of Sheffield

83,300

Imperial College London

79,492

Cardiff University

46,743

University of Glasgow

46,045

TOTAL

1,316,524

 

All universities are committed to the ‘3Rs’ of replacement, reduction and refinement. This means avoiding or replacing the use of animals where possible; minimising the number of animals used per experiment and optimising the experience of the animals to improve animal welfare. However, as universities expand and conduct more research, the total number of animals used can rise even if fewer animals are used per study.

 All ten universities are signatories to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK, a commitment to be more open about the use of animals in scientific, medical and veterinary research in the UK. Over 120 organisations have signed the concordat including UK universities, charities, research funders and commercial research organisations.

Wendy Jarrett, Chief Executive of Understanding Animal Research, which developed the Concordat on Openness, said: “The Concordat has fostered a culture of openness at research institutions up and down the country. Institutions now provide an unprecedented level of information about how and why they conduct medical, veterinary and scientific research using animals. Almost two-thirds of the university Concordat signatories provide their animal numbers openly on their websites – accounting for almost 90% of all animal research at UK universities."

These figures refer to procedures using animals for medical, veterinary or scientific research, as licensed by the Home Office.  The use of animals to test tobacco products was banned in the UK in 1997 and it has been illegal to use animals to test cosmetic products in this country since 1998.  A policy ban on household product testing using animals was introduced in 2010.  Since 2013, it has been illegal to sell or import cosmetics anywhere in the EU where the finished product or its ingredients have been tested on animals.

The Home Office recorded 3.79 million completed procedures in 2017, 1.32 million of which were carried out at the top ten universities. A total of 1.90 million procedures were carried out across all universities in 2017, representing half of all procedures in Great Britain.

 

Full table:

University

Total Procedures (2017)

Mice

Fish

Rats

Birds

Non-Human Primates

Other

University of Oxford

236,429

229,640

3,852

2,599

21

7

310

University of Edinburgh

225,366

169,324

44,415

6,948

3,464

-

1,215

University College London

214,570

120,368

87,373

5,950

-

-

879

University of Cambridge

157,975

134,118

18,747

3,511

48

39

1,512

King’s College London

121,741

86,108

32,201

3,171

-

-

107

University of Manchester

104,863

92,159

6,686

3,522

-

-

2,496

University of Sheffield

83,300

30,707

51,717

684

138

-

54

Imperial College London

79,492

70,891

4,120

4,013

111

-

357

Cardiff University

46,743

42,660

1,825

2,130

-

-

128

University of Glasgow

46,045

39,407

4,098

1,767

263

-

510

TOTAL

1,316,624

 

 

   

46

 

All numbers represent completed procedures on animals in 2017. The number of animals used may be slightly lower if some animals have been used in more than one procedure during the year.


Enquiries: ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk or elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk / 0141 330 6557 or 0141 330 4831