A ORGANISATION opposing animal testing is urging Warwick University to ‘step into the 21st century’ and stop cruel experiments.
The number of tests conducted by the university in 2014 increased six per cent from the previous year, meaning around 5,000 animals were experimented on in 2014 compared to 4,705 in 2013. Mice were the most commonly used animal, followed by rats and then fish.
In 2013 sheep were also used for cardiovascular and ‘applied studies’. None were used in 2014.
One of the 2014 experiments included slicing up the brain of a rodent to perform studies on epilepsy.
Cruelty Free International – a organisation working to stop animal testing – say universities in the UK experiment on more than one million animals a year with many tests conducted out of curiosity.
Director of science for the charity Dr Katy Taylor told the Observer: “It is shocking that universities in the UK account for approximately 50 per cent of all animal experiments in Britain.
“The majority of animal experiments conducted by universities also appear to be driven by curiosity rather than a focused attempt to address a particular illness.”
The charity says testing on animals is an archaic practice which is no longer necessary due to ethical alternatives, such as human tissues and cells grown in labs.
They believe animal experiments are unreliable and even unsafe, as animals do not contract the same diseases as humans.
Dr Taylor said: “Unlike many universities who are recognising that this isn’t the way to do research and reducing the number of animals on which they test, Warwick University experimented on more animals in 2014 than in 2013.
“We urge Warwick to begin phasing out animal experiments and move towards the development of innovative, humane and human-relevant research methods for the 21st century.”
But the university seem unlikely to put a stop to their tests.
A spokesman from the university said: “Any animal testing carried out by the university is to further our biomedical research, examples of which you can find on our website.”
Visit www2.warwick.ac.uk to find out more.