GER: Animal use decreased by 2.7%
The total number of vertebrates used in animal experiments in Germany in the year 2013 was 2,997,152. This figure is 2.7% (84,000 animals) lower than in the previous year. It is the first time the animal use numbers have decreased in the past 10 years in Germany.
The percentage of mice used for experimental purposes remained at 73%. After mice, rats (376,000), fish (203,000), rabbits (96,000) and guinea pigs (24,000) were the most commonly used species. While the number of mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, cats, pigs and birds was lower than in the previous year, the number of fish increased by 22%. 2,165 simians and prosimians were used for experiments in 2013; great apes have not been used for experimental purposes in Germany since 1991.
The number of genetically modified animals was 947,000, i.e., 32% of the total number of animals and 13,000 more animals than in 2012. 95% of these were mice.
The percentage of animals used for fundamental research increased by 3% to 40% of the total; 65,000 animals were used for education and training purposes, 5% more than the previous year. The number of animals used for the production or quality control of medicines or medicinal products for human medicine or veterinary use however decreased by 60,000, the use of animals for toxicological studies or safety testing decreased by 13,000 and the number of animals sacrificed for the removal of tissue decreased by 74,000 animals to 819,000 (these animals are also included in the total). The full report can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1D79oqz.
According to Article 54 of Directive 2010/63/EU the Member States must collate statistical data on the use of animals for scientific purposes on an annual basis and make this data available to the public. From 2015 on Germany will provide these data in the designated European format. The comparability of the data to previous years will be limited owing to the new format.
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