MORE than 190,000 animals were used in experiments by Oxford University in one year, new figures show.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) said the figure, for 2013, was the second highest for any university in the UK that year.

Oxford University came in just under the University of Edinburgh in the league table, which BUAV said used 241,865 animals in experiments.

Some of the animals – which included monkeys, sheep and rabbits as well as rats, mice and fish – were subjected to “distressing and disturbing” procedures, the group claimed.

The statistics showed that in 2013, a total of 4,017,758 animals were used in 4,121,582 experiments in the UK.

Our top stories

Of these animals, 1.8 million were tested in university laboratories, according to the BUAV.

The Home Office figures were produced in response to a Freedom of Information request made by the BUAV.

The group’s head of science Dr Katy Taylor said: “Universities account for half of the total number of animals used in experiments carried out in the UK and are responsible for some particularly distressing and disturbing experiments.

“Yet, despite growing concern regarding animal research, much of it is publicly funded.”

An Oxford University spokesman said: “Research involving animals remains essential to medical advances which are saving the lives and relieving the suffering of millions of people.”