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More animals used for tests

Published on 08/08/2007

8 August 2007

BRUSSELS – A total of 756,715 animals were used in different types of tests in Belgium last year.

This signals a slight increase in the number of test animals compared to 2005, the animal welfare department of the federal ministry of public health, safety of the food chain and environment announced on Wednesday. Animal rights organisation GAIA says this is the fourth consecutive year showing an increase in animal testing.

The animals are primarily used in the development and quality control of medicines and medical material. Last year a total of 37,739 more animals were used in experiments, an increase of 5.2 percent compared to the year previous. There was an especially marked increase in the number of mice (up 28,023), rabbits (up 9,359), birds (up 2,861) and fish (up 5,099) that were used in experiments, GAIA points out.

The number of cats used in experiments also increased significantly – by 32 percent – from 81 in 2005 to 107 last year. That is unacceptable, says the animal rights organisation, which is sounding the alarm. GAIA blames the increase on a failing government policy.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news