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Number of scientific procedures on animals falls in 2014

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FIGURES released by the Home Office on October 22 indicate that the number of scientific procedures carried out on animals in Great Britain declined by 6 per cent in 2014, falling from 4.12 million in 2013 to 3.87 million last year.

However, the Home Office points out that, as a result of amendments to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act to transpose a European Directive into UK law, the way in which the data have been collected for the annual statistics has changed this year; as a result, it says, comparisons between the data for 2014 and previous years should be ‘interpreted with some caution’.

The European Directive sets out a common format for member states to submit information on the use of animals for scientific purposes. The key changes include the presentation of data for procedures completed, as opposed to procedures started, as reported in previous publications. The Home Office explains …

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