Animals in research: numbers

At the University of Plymouth we use a limited variety of species in very small numbers. Details are in the tables below.

Species 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Rodents 355 395 1327 1639 2155 2516 2722 2055
Avian 208 142 145 0 0 0 0 0
Fish 3054 2319 719 476 540 65 804 538


In 2012 the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry was disaggregated and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry was formed. This was followed by a marked increase in medical and health research which uses rodents, hence the larger figures.


Avian: This decrease marks the natural end of a research project. 

Fish: This decrease marks both the closing of some research projects and the increased development and use of alternatives and methods to reduce the number of fish used.


Rodents: This increase reflects growth in research groups and success in securing sources of funding for new projects.


Rodents: Increase relates to newly funded research and the maturing of existing research projects. Less marked increase due to greater use of alternatives.

Fish: Decrease relates to the natural closure of research projects and use of alternatives.


Rodents: This usage shows a slight increase since 2016, but reflects the growing number of research groups undertaking translational research at the University.

Fish: Total fish numbers are increased from 2016, due to the commencement of new research projects, but are in line with the use of previous years. Usage is still considerably less than 2011/2012 due to the use of alternatives.


Rodents: Numbers of rodents used has fallen this year compared to 2017, but reflect the numbers of projects in translational research.

Fish: Fish numbers are once more lower than in previous years such as 2011/12; this reflects the ongoing development and use of alternatives and methods to reduce numbers of fish used in our research