The number of furry friends that have been subject to many scientific trials over the years are decreasing.
Procedures involving animals are at their lowest level since 2010, but animal rights groups says still not enough is being done to reduce the number of animals bred with genetic alterations.
New statistics released by the Home Office show there were almost 3.8m scientific procedures involving animals in 2017, a 4% drop on the previous year.
These included 1.89m experiments on live animals – with reasons ranging from legally required drug testing to surgical training.
How does this compare?
The latest figures represent a 7% drop in the number of such experimental procedures compared with 2016, and a 17% drop compared with 10 years ago.
However, 1.9m procedures involved the creation or breeding of genetically altered animals – a 37% uptick over the past decade. Of these animals, 99% were mice, fish or rats.
Experts say the atmosphere around animal research has changed in recent years, largely following the UK’s Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which strengthened measures for tackling animal rights extremists.