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Research

Facts and figures

Currently, 38% (Data accessed July 2017) of MRC–funded research programmes involve the use of animals licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. Research ranges from fundamental studies on how normal biological systems work to studies used to investigate possible treatments for human or animal disease.  Summary information on all funded projects may be found on Gateway to Research

All MRC-funded active research programmes

Some research programmes will use more than one species of animal. The most commonly used species of animal is mouse, used in 69% of current live research programmes. This is followed by rat, (13%) and fish, (5%).

Around 9% of our current live awards involve less commonly used species. These are highlighted below: 

Species

Percentage

Amphibian

1.4%

Rabbit

1.3%

Sheep

1.3%

Bird

1.1%

Cow

0.7%

Guinea Pig

0.5%

Dog

0.5%

Equidae

0.3%

Camelid

0.3%

Gerbil

0.3%

Ferrets

0.2%

Cat

0.2%

Hamster

0.2%

Goat

0.1%

Other Rodent

0.1%

MRC-owned establishments

Once a year, the Home Office releases the statistics on the numbers of procedures that have been completed during the previous year and the severity of those procedures.

The number of procedures carried out as part of research programmes in MRC-owned establishments reported to the Home Office in 2016 was 318,664. This is 8% of the total of 3.94 million scientific procedures reported to the Home Office for that year. The number of scientific procedures by species and severity (Severity categories are described in the Annual statistics of scientific procedures on living animals Great Britain) can be found in the tables below. Breeding of genetically altered animals accounted for 46% of all procedures carried out.

Scientific procedures on living animals in MRC units and institutes, numbers by species, 2016

Species

2016

n

%

All procedures

318,664

100

Mouse

256,158

80

Rat

396

<1

Other rodents (Onychomys)

6

<1

Old World Monkey (Macaque)

61

<1

Fish

62,043

19

Scientific procedures on living animals in MRC units and institutes, numbers by severity, 2016

Severity

2016

n

%

All procedures

318,664

100

Sub-threshold

160,314

50

Non-recovery

829

<1

Mild

86,038

27

Moderate

65,734

21

Severe (includes animals found dead)

5,749

2