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23 - 07 - 2018

The animal research statistics in France

Numerous statistics on animal experimentation are published each year by the Ministry of Research. What do they tell us?




In accordance with European regulations (Directive 2010/63), the Ministry of Research publishes information on animals used for scientific purposes in France. The latest figures published cover the year 2016.


Some data (number of animals by species and purpose of the studies) are included in an infographic created on this site. It shows that the vast majority of the 1.9 million animals used are rodents, fish (for 87%) and animals species used for food (for 11%). Dogs, cats and primates together account for less than ½ percent of the total, which confirms that these species are used in research only in the absence of other solutions.


The data also helps understand the limited nature of the number of animals used in research: the same year, for example, 809 million chickens were produced in France.


The published figures also inform about:


      - the origin of animals (93%, Europe)


      - primates (95% are macaques, no great apes)


      - reuse (less than 2% of animals)


      - the severity of the proceedures (17% of severe procedures)


      - regulatory obligations (27% of animals)


      - the genetic status (22% of genetically modified animals, mainly mice)




In addition, the Ministry publishes the list of non-technical summaries of all authorized projects.


This important work of collecting and publishing data aims to inform the public. Although consistent, this information is still difficult to understand. French and European administrations are working to make it more accessible and more useful, which makes it evolve and, paradoxically, makes comparisons from one year to the next and therefore the perception of changes difficult.