From the Guardian:
More than 3.7m scientific procedures were carried out using animals in 2010, an increase of around 100,000 on the previous year, according to data released by the Home Office. The rise is largely due to the production of more genetically modified mice and greater use of fish in basic biological and medical research.
But read on:
Barney Reed, senior scientist at the RSPCA, described the rise in procedures as “astonishing”, pointing out that they equated to a 37% increase in animal use over the past decade. He also raised concerns over the implementation of a new EU directive on animal research into UK law that would legally allow the UK to drop its standards in many areas of inspection and practice in the use of animals. “A watered-down law could mean laboratory animals in the UK being allowed to suffer ‘long-lasting, unalleviated, severe pain, suffering or distress’, it could allow some animals such as dogs to be kept in even smaller housing, and some UK laboratories may not be visited by Home Office officials for years at a time – this is simply unacceptable,” he said.