Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

World Day for Laboratory Animals – April 24th

Posted: 29 March 2019. Updated: 24 April 2019


2019 marks the 40th anniversary of World Day for Laboratory Animals, a day on which the suffering of animals in laboratories is commemorated around the world.

The estimated global number of animals used in research is at least 115.3 million. Latest figures show that in Britain 3.7 million animals are used; in the EU 11.48 million animals; and in the US 792,168 – although this figure excludes the use of mice and rats, who are estimated to account for 95% of all experiments and number into the tens of millions.

The use of animals in research has at least three key flaws:

  • 1. Each species responds differently to substances, making animal tests an unreliable way to predict effects in humans.
  • 2. Test results can differ due to an animal’s age, sex, diet, and even their bedding material.
  • 3. Human diseases in lab animals are not naturally occurring - artificially created they are different from the human condition they are attempting to mimic.

Instead of misleading animal tests, governments and regulators need to drive research towards modern methods which benefit people. These include using databases, human tissue culture, sophisticated analytical techniques, organ-on-a chip models, microdosing, computer simulations and modelling, and human tissue and 3D cell cultures.

Founded by the National Anti-Vivisection Society but now under Animal Defenders International Foundation, the Lord Dowding Fund has funded, over many years, projects such as the development of computer simulations that replaced the use of animals for students studying physiology and pharmacology. Multiple versions were created across different languages and to keep pace with advanced technology, saving hundreds of thousands of animal lives.

To encourage the move away from animal models and towards more human-relevant research methods, ADI has launched the Declaration for Advanced Science. Announced at the recent ADI-sponsored UK launch of the book Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change, signatories to the Declaration pledge to support research and legislative measures which accelerate the replacement of live animal procedures. Our first signatories were announced on the eve of World Day for Laboratory Animals. Find out more here.

To support the Declaration and its aim in the UK, Sir Mike Penning MP has tabled Early Day Motion 2228 which calls on the UK Government to become a leader in the development of innovative non-animal science.

How YOU can help the animals this World Day!

  • Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion #2228: Developing Innovative Science – Better for Animals TODAY. You can check if they have signed here and contact them here using our template letter below.
  • In the US and Canada, take action to help stop the use of animals for cosmetics testing here
  • Donate here to support our work to help animals in laboratories.
  • Visit our World Day for Laboratory Animals website to learn more about animal experiments and the alternatives to replace them.

Template letter to MP


Developing innovative science - better for animals and people

As a constituent, and someone concerned about animal research, I am writing to ask you to sign the following Early Day Motion which calls on the UK Government to take action to facilitate the adoption of advanced methods which can replace their use.

EDM 228: Developing innovative science - better for animals and people
That this House recognises the economic and scientific need to support advanced scientific human-relevant research methods; notes that the goal of Recital 10 of EU Directive 2010/63/EU is ‘full replacement of procedures on live animals for scientific and educational purposes as soon as scientifically possible’; supports the Declaration for Advanced Science, championed by Animal Defenders International, supported by scientists and other stakeholders and acknowledging that animal models can provide misleading results; and calls for the Government to lead globally in the development of innovative science, better for animals and people, by supporting research and considering legislative measures which facilitate and accelerate the realisation of this goal.

Given their recognised scientific, economic, and human health benefits, it is important that innovative non-animal science is placed front and centre of government policy.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

© Animal Defenders International 2019