Deputy Editor Kirstie Sutherland reports on a magnitude 4.4 earthquake which has affected parts of the West Midlands, including UoB's main campus.Written by Kirstie Sutherland on 17th February 2018
UoB Research Kills 54,000 Animals
Animals killed in testing at UoB last year numbered 54,728, very nearly a 40% increase on ten years ago when just under 40,000 animals were killed
Animals killed in testing at UoB last year numbered 54,728, very nearly a 40% increase on ten years ago when just under 40,000 animals were killed.
According to UoB's publicly available policy on the use of animals in research, which fits on less than half a page of A4, animal testing only takes place where there are no alternatives and it â€˜is fundamental to advances in understanding that will prevent suffering, protect and prolong both human and animal life.
As of 2015, UoB was conducting the ninth most animal research out of all universities in the country. Together with the rest of the top ten, it accounted for a third of the animal research being done in the UK. The breeding of genetically modified animals constituted roughly as many of these experiments as experiments did.
Mice were the creature experimented with in the vast majority of cases, although significant numbers of rats, fish, and, to a lesser extent, amphibians were also involved. Guinea pigs and rabbits have not been used in tests since 2008, while birds were last used in 2011.
Dr Katy Taylor of Cruelty Free International, an anti-animal testing campaign group, was quoted in the Birmingham Mail arguing that 'top universities should be leading the way in replacing and reducing animal testing, yet they remain some of the biggest users of animals in Britain.' She argued that the public mood was against animal testing and they would be 'horrified' to learn of the extent of animal testing at UoB.
'We urge the University [of Birmingham] to lead by example and make a clear and concerted effort to eliminate this horrific, outdated and unnecessary practice', she said.
An Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body exists at UoB to ensure that tests are not conducted on animals where there are possible alternatives, in accordance with the '3Rs' principles of 'replacement, reduction and refinement.' This is an internal body, the staffing of which is controlled by the university, not an external regulator.
The university was contacted for a quote.