University of Reading: Fewer animal tests by Reading scientists in 2021

Official statistics published today show University of Reading scientists carried out 1,090 research procedures on animals in 2021.

For the first time, research using fish was carried out in the University’s research labs, with 350 regulated procedures using fish.

All the procedures using fish were considered to have caused a level of suffering below that considered the official ‘threshold’ of harm.

In total, 621 procedures were carried out on mice, of which 225 were considered at a ‘moderate’ level of harm and four (4) were considered as being ‘severe’. The remainder were at ‘mild’ (291) level, 100 considered ‘sub-threshold’, and one (1) ‘non-recovery’.

A total of 64 rats were used in procedures by the Univiersty, along with 44 cattle, and 11 llamas. All were considered to cause ‘mild’ levels of suffering.

‘Life-changing new drugs’

The University of Reading routinely publishes statistics of the number of animals used in research each year, including figures on severity of harm and which types of animals are used.

A University spokesperson said: “The University is licensed and regulated by the government to conduct vital animal research. We are open about this work, and publish all statistics and descriptions of this research on our website.

“Research at Reading involving animals is making a huge difference to people’s lives. Research using rats has led to life-changing new drugs for children with epilepsy. Research with mice has led to fundamental discoveries about Alzheimer’s and heart disease. And antibodies from our herd of llamas are helping with development of treatments for Covid-19 and other serious diseases.”