Nowadays we all take for granted the medical breakthroughs of the 20th Century: diphtheria and polio vaccines, antibiotics, modern anaesthetics, the treatments for childhood leukaemia that have allowed so many children to live full and healthy lives. These all owed a huge debt to animal research. If we are to address the unmet medical needs of the 21st Century such as cures for dementia and stroke, then it is likely that some animal research will be necessary.
The Government's commitment in 2010 was quite clear: to "work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research". This week it was announced that in 2012, over 4.11 million experiments were carried out, with a 9% increase in the number of animals used. Rarely has a broken promise been so directly exposed by reality.