Here a report on events in the UK.
Upward jump in lab animal tests
By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News
Rodents were used in 77% of animal experiments
The number of animals used in UK laboratories for scientific experiments has risen again.
Home Office figures show that in 2008, 3.7 million procedures using animals were carried out in England, Wales and Scotland - an increase of 14% on 2007.
This represents a spike in the year-on-year trend, although numbers have been increasing for several years.
More than three-quarters of procedures were carried out on rodents. Most of the remainder involved birds and fish.
The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
Dogs, cats, horses and non-human primates receive special protection under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. These were used in less than 1% of all procedures.
Most experiments were for research and drug development; safety testing accounts for much of the rest.
Animal welfare groups have strongly criticised the increase, with the RSPCA calling the figures "disappointing".
But Lord Drayson, science and innovation minister, said it was "critical to the development of new medicines and increasing the level of understanding of diseases".
'The three Rs'
In 2004, the government established a national centre dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in tests that are licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act.
This increase has caused critics to question whether policy-makers are failing to uphold this "three Rs" strategy.
But Dr Judy MacArthur Clark, chief inspector of the Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate, said the strategy was working, and that the numbers were a reflection of "an increase in fully ethically justified, high quality research taking place in the UK".
Simon Festing, executive director of Understanding Animal Research, said the three Rs were not just about reducing numbers.
"Improving animal welfare by refining procedures and replacing 'higher' animals with 'lower' animals are also important," he said.
"Using more animals does not mean more suffering. Many mice and fish are only used to breed better models of serious illnesses such as cancer or Alzheimer's, or to replace higher animals such as monkeys or dogs."
So far the report. However, those that are testing on animals have not yet entered the school of scientific logic: are animals more like humans than humans?
Scientifically sound, they say, for it carries no danger. They do not even contemplate using a medicine on people, before they have tested it extensively in vitro in the laboratory and in vivo on animals.
It is not methodical, let alone scientifically sound, for in a proper method you use equal entities for both your tests as for your treatment. The danger lies in the extrapolation of certainties in regards to people. It is a non-method, which compares the incomparable; which tests on incomparable entities and extrapolates compatibility between entities that are incompatible.