The Story Behind the Statistics - Animal Writes: PETA Foundation’s Blog Animal Writes: PETA Foundation’s Blog
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  • Jul

The Story Behind the Statistics

© iStockPhoto.com / mashabuba

Today, the government has released its annual statistics on animal experiments. These are the dry figures which represent the imprisonment, suffering and deaths of legions of helpless animals in the UK’s 200 or so laboratories. There’s a lot of information in these figures, but none of it can convey the pain of a mouse genetically engineered to grow tumours, the pathetic confusion of a brain-damaged monkey who awakes from anaesthesia to find her arm paralysed or the terror of a pig facing repeated surgery. Sadly, the list of such examples goes on and on and on. But for what it’s worth, among the things you can learn from these statistics are the following:

  • 3,541, 252 living animals had experiments started on them in 2009. All but a handful will now be dead.
  • 90,000 animals were used in “lethal” toxicity tests (ie, tests in which the intention was to poison animals until some of them died).
  • 18,000 procedures “interfered” with animals’ brains.

For the first time ever, less than half the scientific procedures in the UK used animals that were “genetically normal”: 42% used animals that were genetically manipulated and another 11% used conventionally bred animals with what’s called a “harmful genetic defect”.

For the first time since 2001, these numbers actually went down from the previous year, but after eight years of increases, a 1 per cent decrease means we shouldn’t celebrate yet.

One animal facing a tormented life in a laboratory is one too many: these figures are a national disgrace – an indictment of the last government’s policies, under which animal tests rose by a third between 2000 and 2009. The new government has said it will “work to reduce” the use of animals in scientific research. These are fine and welcome words, but the coalition will be judged by what it does, not by what it says.

PETA will be meeting with Lynne Featherstone, the new minister responsible for regulating animal experiments, in a few weeks, and we’re hoping to see a change in thinking at the Home Office – a demonstration of genuine commitment to putting this country at the forefront of humane, effective science. For real change to come, it’s got to happen everywhere in government – in its Business, Environment, Health, Education and even Defence departments. We’ll be pressing the case for animals and making very clear that we’ll be holding officials and ministers accountable. And when we do, we’ll have the miserable lives and unnecessary deaths of every one of these three and a half million animals in mind. I’ll update you on developments after the meeting.

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Comments

  1. avatar Alecia Cole says:

    My email may be “luvspuppies”, but I dearly love ALL animals!! It’s not enough that Man, supposedly God’s triumph in creation, abuses and inhumanely breeds and raises animals on factory farms for the consumption of their flesh, but, since he has so many animals “left over”, he must find ways to torture, abuse and kill them, too. So, let him play Dr. Frankenstein with them. Let him do it in the name of “necessary research” for the betterment of Mankind. HA! How many of these experiments and how much of this “research” is redundant. And how many of the outcomes can even be extrapolated for use with humans??!!
    Mankind needs to develop a heart and a sense of compassion, understanding, love and goodwill towards the fellow sentient creatures that have been put on this earth to live alongside him. They were NOT put here for his Nazi-like manipulation, abuse, and consumption! And until he does develop that sense of compassion and starts treating his fellow beings as he himself would like to be treated in their place, there will NEVER be peace on earth. Because as man does to the animals, so does he to his fellow man. A short course in history, of the wars of man against man, of serial killers who start out as animal abusers, as proponents of dog fights, cock fights and any other sport in which animals are pitted against others of their kind to maul and kill each other for man’s entertainment, will clearly show that man’s cruel nature and his lack of compassion will continue to make this a world in which barbarism is commonplace, accepted and even condoned by it’s leaders, and speciesism will reign supreme.

  2. avatar E king says:

    It absolutely infuriates me when i read things like this article. The exploitation, torture and killing of animals by humans is disgusting and the fact that such experiments continue is horrific.
    One day we will live in a world where non-human animals aren’t exploited like this. People think animal rights activists are extremist etc however one day our campaigns for the rights of these creatures will be viewed historically in the same way the freedom of minorities has been. I so look forward to the day when no animal is a slave to humanity.

  3. RECOGNIZE ME
    By Cheryl Greear © 1998 Poet4animals@tampabay.rr.com
    Submitted by the Author 3 Jan 1999
    Photo by Sue Holloway – Creatured Connection

    For I am you–whether winged or furry or water bound-I live and die, just as do you.

    I see you because you can look at me as well and see that my blood runs through my body; a body given by the creator, just as yours was given to you.

    You live as you choose and make your rules to suit your existence–yet your rules do not protect me, for I can not speak to protect my kind and our rights. Therefore, I do not live; I merely exist, because unlike you, I have no choice.

    I hear you because you can hear me; yet you choose not to hear my need for compassion to live as my creator intended; just as do you.

    Your home is my home; yet you take mine away because you see my existence as trivial; however, in as much, you destroy your home as well for pleasures sake.

    My legs were made to roam, my wings to soar, my feet however diverse were made to walk this earth.

    Our laws were given by nature which we respect to the fullest for herein lies our survival. You do not respect the laws of nature–you punish her with your own laws which are born from greed and selfishness against your own environment and your own kind.. Stop…for a moment and see our existence–for in doing so you would learn the true meaning of being alive–untainted and innocent, we survive on instincts alone that you have thrown away. Stop…and listen to the voiceless….Stop and look at me. Do you not yet recognize me…….for I am you. You are my voice.

  4. avatar Morgan says:

    This is just plain wrong i feel so bad for each animal that gets tested on. They should live a normal life without be hurt in any way. I have stop buying items that have tested on animals i am aganist hurting any animals in the world. Leave animals alone that do not deserved dying for you to test on! I am animal lover to all animals!

  5. avatar Sarah S says:

    Cheryl, I got chills reading your post. Truly moving.

  6. avatar Cristina Fonseca says:

    Only in Uk ,as I read they killed almost 6.000 Beagles…..6.000 “Snoopies”,
    We must stop it! I pray every night for them,I ask God to help them,at least
    to die with less pain and suffer.What a dirty world!

  7. avatar Jacqueline P says:

    Thank you so very much for your kind words and compassion twords all animals which are so very precious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU PETA FOR ALL YOU DO FOR SPEAKING UP FOR THE VOICELESS ANIMALS YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. It is indeed sad to see that in this day and age that animal experiments and vivisection are still carried out. Animals are the children of all humanity and should be treated as children generally are with love and affection. How would your child feel to see his favorite mascot wired up to cables and wires and being made to suffer in the name of science. All animals have the same right as us, that is to a peaceful existance,where they can live and breed in peace and out of danger and harms way. They are not so different to us they live,they die, they have families, they feell happieness,saddness, heat,cold, hunger etc. they like ourselves are here on this planet just trying to get on with it and be happy. There are aternatives,in this case the suffering does not justify the end.

  9. avatar Brandon Hoover says:

    Woe is to the PETA member that requires an organ transplant or any medical care, most methods of which were researched and understood through animal experimentation. Never get cancer treatment, never have a child with a genetically inherited disease because the moment you do, you’re inadvertently supporting decades of research made possible by the use of animals in experiments such as these.

    Animal and model organism research has cast an invaluable and undeniably important contribution to our understanding of battling cancer, genetically inherited diseases, the cell life cycle, organization of proteins, embryonic development, and much more.

    I support scientific research, but I also support seeking alternative methods when possible but in a lot of circumstances, it is unavoidable.

  10. avatar Brandon Hoover says:

    “All animals have the same right as us, that is to a peaceful existance,where they can live and breed in peace and out of danger and harms way.”

    Are you against spay and neutering?

  11. avatar KT says:

    If the statistics said “90,000 HUMANS” instead of “90,000 ANIMALS” then they’d be outrage, why aren’t more people concerned about this? Why are they so blind to animal suffering?

  12. [...] of the depressing official figures for the number of animals used in laboratories in the UK. After last year’s slight dip, the statistics this year (for 2010) show a shameful but sadly predictable rise in the [...]

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