Facts and figures

Animal research has been instrumental in allowing medical progress to occur in the last few centuries. Vaccines, and many of the drugs and medicines we currently use to treat cancer, heart diseases and brain disorders, have involved animal research as a critical part of their development prior to license for human use. In addition to benefits for human health, research using animals also allows us to better understand the conditions that affect animals and develop treatments for them.

Facts and figures

The Home Office collates and publishes records of all protected animals used in scientific procedures in the UK every year. These are published on an annual basis and can be accessed on the Home Office website.

As a signatory of the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research, the University of Surrey is committed to being open and transparent about our use of animals in our biomedical research. As part of this process, the numbers that we publish reflect the number of animals used at the University on an annual basis, including those that have been used for scientific procedures, breeding purposes and those that have been humanely killed for tissue only.

You can find the national numbers for 2020 on the Government website.

Below are the figures for the numbers of animals used for scientific research and humanely killed at Surrey from 2018 – 2022:

Animals used for scientific research and humanely killed at Surrey from 2018 – 2022

Guinea pigs02000

Breakdown of the number of procedures by year using the severity classifications as defined by the Home Office

 No. of procedures (2018)No. of procedures (2019)No. of procedures (2020)No. of procedures (2021)No. of procedures (2022)

Animals used for scientific procedures

These are animals that have been used for experiments under the authority of a project licence. Only individuals with a personal licence are able to carry out these procedures. All genetically altered animals are included in these numbers, even if they are used for breeding or for tissue only.

Animals used for breeding purposes

Some animals are housed at Surrey for the sole purpose of breeding (mice and rabbits). Healthy rodents are allowed to have up to 6 litters during their life span. All rodents used for breeding purposes are humanely killed after their final litter has been weaned.

Animals used for tissue only purposes

Animals that are used for tissue only purposes are housed at Surrey, but are humanely killed without ever undergoing a scientific procedure. Tissues are collected from these animals and may be used for a variety of purposes from cell culture to isolated organ perfusions. Where possible, animals will be used for tissue only to reduce the number of live animals that undergo scientific procedures.