[Guest post by the Dr Hadwen Trust]
Millions of animals are used each year for research into human conditions. In 2013 in the UK alone there were 4.12 million scientific procedures conducted using 4.02 million animals, the vast majority (82%) being on rodents but the figures also include 3,554 dogs, 109 cats, 2,468 primates, 138,287 birds, and 330 horses.
Despite the huge number of animals used and the millions of pounds spent studying conditions such as cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease, we are still looking for cures for these and many other illnesses.
Alongside the ethical considerations of animal experimentation, there is also growing evidence, as highlighted in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ) in May 2014, that when animals are used for medical research purposes, including drug development, they often yield results that do not translate to the human condition.