We just received word from our friends at PETA Europe that the U.K.’s Home Office—it’s like our Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture all rolled into one—has published its 2008 statistics on animal experiments. Sadly, the information in the report is less than encouraging. More than 3.5 million animals were abused and killed in 3.7 million experiments this past year: That’s an increase from last year of 15 percent in individual animals and an increase of 14 percent in procedures. This is the highest number of animals used for experiments in the U.K. since the 1980s and the biggest proportionate rise in numbers since the Home Office began keeping records in the 1940s.
To make it all the more frustrating, only 70 percent of toxicity tests—the ones in which animals are deliberately poisoned to test chemicals—were required by law, meaning that nearly 30 percent of these archaic and needless tests could have been abandoned entirely.
While the number of European tests are rocketing up, the numbers of new medical treatments are going down—not to mention that 90 percent of drugs that pass animal trials fail in humans. All of this from a nation that is leaps and bounds ahead of the U.S. in approving non-animal testing methods for lab studies.
These numbers show us just how vital it is for compassionate people to take action. If we don’t speak up, the suffering of animals will continue to be ignored.
Written by Shawna Flavell