The number of animals used in our studies has decreased significantly in the past years. More than 90 percent of the animal studies we conduct are legally required. But even when they are not and rather justified by scientific reasons we make sure that all our studies are ethically and scientifically justified.
In 2019, our scientists and our cooperation partners worldwide used 117,995 animals as part of their research. This is a substantial decrease from the 132,541 in 2018.
86.8 percent of all laboratory animals at Bayer are mice and rats. Other rodent species make up additional 2.1 percent. Hence, almost 90 percent of all laboratory animals are rodents. Fish make up 3.5 percent and birds 6.5 percent. Only 0.8 percent of all our laboratory animals are non-human primates (NHPs), cats and dogs. Livestock animals make up the last 0.3 percent.*
Mice and rats are the most frequently used animals because their bodies are similar to humans in many ways. They usually provide reliable evidence of how a new active ingredient will react inside the human body.
Other species are used only if studies in mice and rats are unlikely to yield meaningful results, or in scientific or regulatory circumstances. For example, in toxicity studies for the development of new drugs, authorities usually require studies in a non-rodent species (dogs, pigs, primates) as well as in rodents. In this way the authorities want to ensure that as many of the drug’s effects as possible are detected before the product is used in humans for the first time.