Dundee and Stirling universities in top 10 for use of animals in research

Dundee and Stirling universities are among the top 10 in the UK for using animals in research, new figures have shown.

Data compiled through freedom of information requests by The Tab series of student newspapers found that 1.3 million animals mostly mice, rats, fish and birds died during university experiments.

Edinburgh University topped the list, with Stirling in sixth place and Dundee ninth.

Michelle Thew, chief executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, said: “The details of some research will not only surprise but disgust.

“Tests have involved forcing rodents to inhale diesel fumes to investigate their harmful effects and deliberately inflicting high levels of stress on baby animals to see if having a stressful childhood causes mental health issues in adulthood.

“Many members of the public are under the illusion that all animal experimentation is vital for human health benefits, whereas this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Dundee University used more than 50,000 animals in research last year. Only 2% were reckoned to have been subjected to substantial pain.

Animal testing is subject to scrutiny by an ethical review committee and the university has insisted that it uses animals only in instances where no alternatives are available.