On 21st October 2023, animal rights protesters from Sheff Against Animal Experiments (SAAE) crashed a Sheffield University open day to demand the University of Sheffield, in England, stop using animal testing in its research. They dropped a large banner reading “End Animal Testing” and handed out leaflets to passersby that said the university has exposed gerbils to 100dB of noise, drilled holes into the legs of rats, and paralysed mice in the name of research.
Johanna Grace, a former Sheffield University PhD student, said to The Star, “I took a stand during today’s open day to make everyone aware that the social licence for animal testing has expired, but Sheffield University still participates in the outdated practice. We have so many modern alternatives available that do not require trading innocent lives for high failure rates.”
According to Sheffield University’s figures, animals used in research include approximately 25,045 Zebrafish, 20,546 mice, 249 birds, 56 rats, 22 gerbils and 23 pigs. Isabella, a Biomedical student at Sheffield University, said, “It is unacceptable that my university is dragging its heels on this issue, and in some cases going backwards. The past three years of data show that the number of pigs being tested on has quadrupled, they are highly intelligent and sensitive individuals that do not deserve to be subjected to this cruelty.”
Although many big universities are still deeply involved in vivisection, there have been some that have decided to stop. Another of the three universities in this South Yorkshire city, Sheffield Hallam University, have moved away from animal testing and no longer perform animal experiments. In 2021, a Freedom from Information Request prompted this University to reply, “Sheffield Hallam University does not conduct experimentation on animals.”