Animal research


The University reports the number of animals that are used in research by species each year.

In 2017, the University used 225,366 animals in research. The vast majority of these were rodents, predominantly mice and rats (78.2%), and fish (19.7%). Client-owned pet dogs were involved in studies at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies aimed at improving care for sick animals. (See: Vitamin d in study spotlight).

Species Number Percentage
Rodents 176,307 78.2%
Fish 44,415 19.7%
Birds 3,464 1.5%
Agricultural species (cattle, sheep, pigs) 713 0.32%
Animals monitored in the wild (sheep, deer, red squirrels, golden eagles) 373 0.17%
Frogs 80 <0.1%

Dogs (client-owned pets taking part in studies at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies)

14 <0.1%

These figures are calculated each year based on data from annual returns that are prepared for the Home Office by every Project Licence holder.

For 2017, in line with European Directive EU2010/63, the University reported details of animals that were killed as part of scientific animal breeding and research programmes but not used in a procedure regulated under the Animals in Scientific Procedures Act. Details of the latest figures are available here.

Severity statistics

Each regulated procedure is assigned a severity which describes the animals experience. Figures for 2017 are available at the link below. 

Severity statistics