The Kennel Club (KC) has expressed its disappointment at an 11% increase in the number of dogs being used in scientific procedures.
Home Office figures released in its annual report detailing statistics of scientific procedures on living animals for 2013, showed an increase in the number of scientific procedures by 0.3% to a total of 4.12 million. However, the total number of animals used in experiments has decreased by 0.4% to 4.02 million animals.
While there was a 1.3% decrease in the number of procedures carried out on dogs, the KC remains concerned about the 11% increase in dogs being used in experiments. In 2013, 3,554 dogs were used in experiments, compared to 3,214 the previous year.
Caroline Kisko, KC secretary, said: “During the transposition of the EU directive 2010/63/EU into UK law, the KC campaigned to maintain stricter UK standards and special protection for dogs, cats and horses used in scientific experiments. The Government granted this additional safeguard, yet the statistics are rising for the number of dogs being used in experiments.
“In 2013 the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) published a comprehensive study that analysed more than 2,000 toxicological studies where dogs were being used to predict toxicity responses in humans.
“The study concluded dogs are highly unpredictable in detecting toxicity levels in humans, which makes them highly inaccurate and impractical indicators. In light of this important evidence, the Government needs to recognise how unnecessary it is for dogs to be used in these types of experiments and translate this into law.”