Animal experiments 2021

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Dear Royal Veterinary College,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I request to know the information for the year 2021 (01/01/2021 to 31/12/2021).

Did your university conduct experiments on animals in the year 2021?

How many animals were used in experiments(species & number of each)?

How many animals were bred on the premises (species & number of each)?

What was the nature and outcome of these experiments?

What are the Home Office licence classifications for these experiments in terms of pain, lasting harm, etc. if classified (species & number of each)?

Were the animals used for medical or non medical research?

Which departments of your university were or are engaged in such research?

How many animals were killed without being used for experiments (species & number of each)?

How many animals rehomed (species & number of each)?

Of those that were not re-homed, why not?

Does the university receive an income for performing animal research?

Does the university incur any costs by performing animal research?

Were there more non-animal research methods used than animal methods?

Which non-animal research methods are available at the university?

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,
Wendy Park

FOI, Royal Veterinary College

Dear Wendy Park,

We write to acknowledge receipt of your request for data under the Freedom of Information Act and shall reply again in due course.

Your sincerely

FOI Officer
The Royal Veterinary College

show quoted sections

FOI, Royal Veterinary College

1 Attachment

Dear Wendy Park,

 

Having conducted a search of the College’s records, we can confirm that it
does hold information relevant to your request and accordingly have
annotated your questions below in red.

 

 

• Did your university conduct experiments on animals in the year 2021?:
Yes

 

 

• How many animals were used in experiments (species & number of each)?

Please see:
[1]https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/animals-i...

 

 

• How many animals were bred on the premises (species & number of each)?

Dogs: 46

Mice: 6124

Zebrafish: 3042

 

• What was the nature and outcome of these experiments?
Each scientific study that is undertaken by a research organisation
(such as the RVC) has its own experimental design and set of
methodologies. Similarly, each study generates a unique set of results
and findings. For each study, the methodologies and results are
described in detail in a scientific paper, which is used to
communicate the methods and conclusions to other scientists and other
stakeholders. These scientific papers are published in scientific
journals, most of which are available online and accessed through
databases such as PubMed ([2]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)

 

Furthermore, the RVC maintains a repository of its scientific reports and
papers, which is openly available at
[3]https://rvc-repository.worktribe.com/

 

 

• What are the Home Office licence classifications for these experiments
in terms of pain, lasting harm, etc. if classified (species & number
of each)?

Mild:

Cattle: 16

Dogs: 25

Domestic fowl: 1394

Horses: 2

Mice: 3093

Sheep: 1

Zebrafish: 719
Moderate

Dogs: 23

Domestic fowl: 72

Ponies: 2

Mice: 802

Rats 159

Sheep: 39

Zebrafish: 37
Non-recovery

Mice: 4

Pigs: 88

Rats: 20

Sheep: 3
Severe

Domestic fowl: 2

Mice: 28

Rats: 1

Sheep: 1

Zebrafish: 4
Sub-Threshold

Mice: 1082

Pigs: 2

Zebrafish: 249

 

 

• Were the animals used for medical or non medical research?

Of the 33 project licences that were in use at the RVC in 2021, 27 related
to medical research and 6 to non-medical research.

 

• Which departments of your university were or are engaged in such
research?

◦ Biological Services Unit
◦ Department of Clinical Science and Services
◦ Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
◦ Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences

 

• How many animals were killed without being used for experiments
(species & number of each)?

We have defined this question as to whether there were any animals killed
but which the Home Office do not require the numbers to be submitted in
our annual returns to them as they are not under procedure.  Using this
definition the following data has been retrieved from our records:

◦ Mice: 352
◦ Pigs: 19
◦ Sheep: 3
◦ Zebrafish: 58

 

• How many animals rehomed (species & number of each)?
 This information is on our website:

[4]https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/animals-i...

 

• Of those that were not re-homed, why not?

We adhere to the Home Office guidelines for rehoming.  Please see:
[5]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk...

 

• Does the university receive an income for performing animal research?
Yes.  There is information on our website detailing the proportion of
our funded research that relates to animal work:

[6]https://www.rvc.ac.uk/research/animals-i...

 

 

• Does the university incur any costs by performing animal research? Yes

 

• “Were there more non-animal research methods used than animal
methods?” AND  “Which non-animal research methods are available at the
university?”

 

As currently phrased, these two questions are not answerable. “Research
methods” are not distinct or countable categories. As explained above,
each scientific study has its own experimental design and bespoke set of
methodologies. In addition, without further clarification, it is not
possible to determine which are “animal methods” versus “non-animal
methods”. For example, if experiments are performed on cells, tissues, or
organs, are those to be classified as “animal methods” or “non-animal
methods”? If the question is posed more specifically, for example by
specifying a particular procedure or type of experiment of interest, then
we will be able to answer it.

 

 

The RVC is satisfied that in making this response, it has complied with
the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. If, for any reason,
you are not satisfied with this response, you should request an internal
review by writing within 40 working days of receiving this response to The
Chief Operating Officer and Secretary to the Council, Royal Veterinary
College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, AL9 7TA ( Email:
[7][email address] ), who will ensure that this is dealt with
accordingly. There is no charge for such a request. Should you still be
dissatisfied with the outcome, you have the right to make a complaint via
the Information Commissioner, pursuant to Section 50 of the Freedom of
Information Act, via The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF [Tel: 0303 123 1113].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

FOI Officer

 

The Royal Veterinary College

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