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Animal welfare
Scientific procedures on animals top 4 million

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A TOTAL of 4.11 million scientific procedures involving animals were begun in Great Britain in 2012, 8 per cent more than in 2011, according to figures recently published by the Home Office. For the first time, the number of procedures involving genetically modified animals was higher than the number involving normal animals.

Under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA), information on the use of protected animals for experimental or other purposes is published by the Government each year. For the purposes of the statistics, the number of procedures generally corresponds to the number of animals used, although where an animal has fully recovered from a completed procedure and is used again for a further procedure, this is counted as a separate procedure. A procedure is defined as an experiment, or other scientific procedure, conducted on a living animal that has the effect of causing that animal pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm.

The 2012 statistics, which were published on July 16, show that 317,000 more procedures were started in 2012 than in 2011. The Home Office reports that the rise was mainly attributable to a 22 per cent increase in the breeding …

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