The University of Portsmouth held almost 15,000 animals for research purposes on University premises during March 2018, recent statistics show. Moreover, during the 2017 calendar year, almost 5,000 living animals were tested on. The University states that the tests contribute to curing human diseases. While the University isn’t engaging in animal testing on the levels that other institutions do, the figures have the potential to make some uneasy. Read on for full details.
It is commonplace for Universities to engage in animal tests. However, some have stopped doing so in recent years. The University of Portsmouth does engage in animal testing. As alluded to in the introduction, the 2017 calendar year witnessed 4,697 animals being used in tests. 2,802 mice, 1,675 frogs and tadpoles and 220 zebra fish were used. The normal practice is for these animals to be euthanised following any experiment.
The University of Portsmouth stated in their response to a Freedom of Information request pertaining to animal testing that they ‘undertake high quality, internationally recognised research, some of which requires the use of living animals’. The University went on to say that research involving animals contribute to curing human diseases. There appear to be no signs of Portsmouth University abandoning the tests.
Of course there is no doubting the advancements in medicine that have been forged due to research on animals. The topic always produces fervent debate, with good arguments both for the use of animals, and against the use of animals. When a University does engage in these experiments however, it puts students in the difficult position of possibly inadvertently financing these experiments due to their tuition fees. Many are against animal testing, and would therefore be uneasy at this prospect.
As of March 28 2018, the University held 14,844 animals on their premises for research purposes. These consisted of 9,246 frogs, 2,247 zebra fish, 1,923 mice and 1,428 tadpoles. The University does appear to use more animals than many other institutions – who solely use mice. The University does conduct experiments in line with regulation, which aims to protect animals where possible from harm. But, animal testing does inevitably harm animals. Several anti-animal testing groups have protested against statistics from other Universities, where typically the amount of experiments are much higher.
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Animal testing is a very sensitive topic, which divides opinion considerably. The statistics released by the University of Portsmouth suggest the practice is a key part of the institution’s research. Animal tests continue to widespread across British Universities – despite campaigners urging for an end to such tests.