British Universities killed more than a million animals in scientific research experiments last year alone, including dogs, cats and primates, it has been revealed.
Almost a million mice were killed, with some institutions euthanising more than 200,000 animals a year. Oxford University put 29 monkeys to sleep, 43 badgers, 18 pigs and nearly 200,000 mice, an investigation by student paper the Tab disclosed.
A spokesperson for Oxford University told The Huffington Post UK: "The University of Oxford is one of the world’s leading centres for biomedical research. It has consistently been at the forefront of innovative and life-saving science. Research using animals is a small part of the University’s overall programme of research into pressing health problems.
"There is overwhelming scientific consensus worldwide that some animal research is still essential for medical progress.
"97% of animals used in this research are rodents, almost all of which are mice."
Edinburgh University's scientific experiments resulted in the most deaths - 226,341, with Oxford not far behind at 202,203.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh told HuffPost UK: ""The University of Edinburgh uses animals in research programmes only when their use is justified on scientific, ethical and legal grounds, and when no alternatives are available."
A further 1,972 guinea pigs died, along with 668 hamsters and 630 rabbits. The Royal Veterinary College put 10 dogs to sleep, while Cardiff University killed two cats. The Welsh institution was previously criticised for sewing kittens' eyes shut.
A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “All animal-related research work at Cardiff University is carried out under the strict conditions imposed by the Government. Wherever possible the use of animals is avoided and alternative methods employed. "
Animal welfare charity PETA released a statement urging the universities to "rethink" their policies on animal testing.
"Studying any species other than humans while investigating human diseases is studying the wrong species – more than 90% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human trials.
"All the wishful thinking in the world won't make studies on a mouse or dog relevant to humans. The development of cutting-edge non-animal methodologies that can accurately predict what happens in human beings is exciting and also progressive science that works, and unless they wish to be at the bottom of the science pile, these universities need to embrace today's technological breakthroughs.
"Their students, researchers and teachers will benefit from modernisation and movement away from animal use, and animals will be spared traumatic and deadly experiments.
Download the full data from the investigation here.