|Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.|
Every year millions (around 3.7million in 2011) of animals suffer and die in British laboratories in experiments "likely to cause pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm" (experiments that are considered unlikely to cause pain do not need to be licensed and are therefore not included in the annual statistics). An estimated additional 8 million animals are bred and then destroyed as surplus to requirements. As well as mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs (the bulk of experiments involve rodents), other animals such as rabbits, dogs, cats, monkeys, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds are sacrificed in laboratory research and testing.
Many different kinds of experiments take place - painful and lethal diseases are inflicted on animals; animals are isolated, starved, burned, blinded, poisoned, irradiated and they are still used to test a wide range of substances from food additives to cleaning products. All of the animals used in experiments are killed. After years of gradual decline recent statistics (from 2002 onwards) have shown a steady increase in the number of animal experiments taking place and the advent of genetic engineering threatens to continue this upward trend.
Our opposition to animal experiments is both ethical and scientific. Ethically speaking, to deliberately torture and take the life of another sentient creature, be they human or nonhuman, is an abuse of power. As a society we already recognise this and legal action can be taken against people who mistreat companion animals. Yet we don't extend this level of protection to animals in laboratories.
Scientifically speaking, experimentation on animals is a fundamentally flawed approach to learning about human biology and disease. Differences between the infinitely complex biological systems of different species of animals mean that data gained from experiments on nonhumans are an unreliable and dangerous guide to the human condition.
Experiments on animals persist because of entrenched prejudices, both ethical and scientific.
For further information and current campaigns please see: