Statistics

 

In accordance with our commitment to the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement), whenever possible researchers use non-animal approaches in their research.  For example, cell and tissue culture, molecular biology, computer modelling and the study of samples from human patients are used extensively.

However, some animal work must continue in order that our researchers can examine the aetiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blindness, neurodegeneration, and infectious diseases.  In turn, the enhanced understanding can lead to the development of treatments and cures.  Animals are only used in research where there are no alternatives.  Their use is controlled by the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) and subsequent amendments. 

The table below outlines the species and total number of animal procedures, under ASPA, in the last year at Queen’s. 

Species

Year - 2017

Rats

834

Mice

10590

Rabbits

46

Frogs

9

Toads

2

Seals

3

Other Rodents

220

Total

11704

Figures for the years 2013-2016 are available here

As a world-leading research intensive University that aims to enhance the understanding, treatment and cure of human disease, researchers sometimes have to harvest tissues or cells from organs, such as eyes, blood vessels, brain or kidneys to enhance detailed physiological knowledge.  Subsequently, animals are sacrificed solely for this purpose.  For the first time in 2017, the University was asked to provide these figures to the Department of Health, Northern Ireland.  These statistics, captured as Schedule 1 usage, are available here