The number of animals used for research experiments last year was down by 3.5 per cent on 2008, the Federal Veterinary Office reported on Tuesday.
The Veterinary Office said that of the 760,104 animals used, nearly four-fifths were rodents – mice, rats, hamsters and guinea pigs – and eight per cent were birds.
Nearly half of animal experiments are carried out by industry, with universities and hospitals responsible for a third.
A decrease was registered in almost all the sectors using animals, with the greatest in the non-medical sector, where the number was down by 20,000, mainly chickens.
No animals were used for testing cosmetics.
However, there was an increase of 17 per cent in experiments which caused animals severe stress. An additional 6,000 fish were used in research into poisons in the environment.
swissinfo.ch and agencies