Today the Home Office released their annual statistics showing the number of scientific procedures using living animals in Great Britain in 2012. The statistics showed an increase in the use of genetically modified (GM) mice.
This increase is part of a decade long trend involving GM mice. In 2002 the stats reported a total of 709,979 procedures involving GM mice, the figure reported today puts the use last year at just under 1.75 million - an increase of 152%.
The NC3Rs has taken this opportunity to produce a factsheet outlining the history of the use of GM mice, issues surrounding the breeding of these animals, and case studies of important work being undertaken in the field to apply the 3Rs.
Technologies to genetically modify mice represent both a challenge and an opportunity to the implementation of the 3Rs, and NC3Rs is leading the way.
Research focus: Genetically Modified mice (PDF 234 kb)
Our Chief Executive Dr Vicky Robinson has also written a blog post about the ability of the annual statistics to measure progress in the 3Rs: The untold story: what statistics don't tell you about animal use in science
Commenting on the release of the 2012 statistics, Dr Robinson noted that: "The headline figures do not highlight the significant advances in recent years to develop new approaches to replace, reduce or refine the use of animals in research. The NC3Rs is working at the heart of the international scientific community to fund and drive reductions in animal use and implement advances in welfare practice. Our success can be demonstrated across many research areas including diabetes, epilepsy, veterinary vaccines, pesticide development and research using non-human primates. This work cannot be achieved overnight, but depends on a concerted effort to bring about a culture-shift in how science is practiced."