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The number of dogs used in laboratory experiments dropped by 22 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.
The data – which was released as part of the Home Office’s 2017 statistics on animal experiments – shows 3,487 of the animals were used in experiments in 2017. These tests often include testing the toxicity of products such as weedkiller.
While campaigners have called the result a ‘step in the right direction’, they say more needs to be done to end the tests for good.
According to Cruelty Free International: “While this shows that progress can be made, we won’t rest until all of our furry companions are in homes not laboratories.
“Last year almost 3,500 dogs were denied a life as part of a loving family and were instead subjected to experiments, often being used to test weed killers and much more.”
Cruelty Free International has launched a petition calling for a ban, and is hoping to get enough signatures for the Government to debate the issue; petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated – unless the issue has been recently debated by politicians or if there is already a debate scheduled for the near future.
Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group, said: “As a nation of animal lovers, the UK should lead the way in reducing animal testing.
“Dog experiments are unethical and outdated and there are many credible and effective alternatives that can be used instead.
“I am delighted to support the Cruelty Free International call for the Home Office to review and put in place a roadmap to end the use of dogs in UK laboratories.”