University of Manchester animal testing hits seven year high with over 100,000 tested on

Animals which were used for experimentation in 2023 include mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, sheep and fish

The number of animals tested on by the University of Manchester in 2023 was found to have reached a seven year high.

A freedom of information request (FOI) requested by Mancunian Matters found that over 100,000 animals were tested on for research purposes last year, despite numbers previously dropping.

Of animals tested, the highest amount used for research purposes were mice, followed by fish and amplibia.

The lowest amount over the last seven years was in 2018, when 86,956 animals were used for research.

Back in 2017, a total of 104,863 animals were used in experiments by the university on before figures dropped below 100,000 in the subsequent years.

Last year, 109,435 animals were tested on by the university, making it the highest amount of animals subjected to research tests since 2017.

The institution uses animals in order to create research into a wide spectrum of disease, including cancer, cardiology and dementia.

Animals which were used for experimentation last year include mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, sheep, amphibia and fish.

Of those, 66,920 mice were used in scientific experimentation directly by the university, but a total of 13,110 mice used in tests in partnership with Cancer Research UK.

Combining those figures, a total of 80,030 mice were used in experiments, representing nearly three quarters of all animal tests (73.2 per cent).

Fish were the second highest animal species subjected to research tests, with 4,587 used for research purposes, equating to 22.5 per cent of tests.

2,492 amplibia were tested, along with 2,214 rats, representing 2.3 per cent and 2.0 per cent of animals involved in experimentation respectively.

Additionally, there were also 60 sheep, 40 guinea pigs and 12 gerbils used for tests by the university in 2023.

Animal testing is not carried out at both the University of Salford and the University of Bolton, meaning many higher education experimentation projects are completed at the University of Manchester.

A spokesperson from the organisation Animal Aid said: “The alarming rise in animal research at the University of Manchester is extremely concerning.

“Not only are animal experiments extremely cruel, but they are also unreliable, outdated science. Subjecting sentient beings to a painful, distressing, and short life for a box-ticking exercise and ineffective research is simply unacceptable.

“We hope the university will re-evaluate its reliance on animal research and commit to phasing out animal experimentation altogether.”

A spokesperson from the University of Manchester said: “Scientific research involving animals is a vital tool in improving our understanding of health and disease and is crucial for the development of new medicines and medical technologies.

“At The University of Manchester, we employ the highest ethical and welfare standards, in accordance with the law, in terms of all of our work with animals.

“If alternatives to animal research are available and have been validated by regulators then it is illegal to use animals in a research study. The University of Manchester is fully committed to openness and transparency and facts, figures, project summaries and case studies are available on our website.”

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