New figures show 40,870 mice, 1,480 rats, 1,220 fish and 90 amphibians were used in the university’s laboratories in 2013
More than 43,000 animals, including mice and rats, were used for research in University of Birmingham labs last year.
Details released under the Freedom of Information Act show 40,870 mice, 1,480 rats, 1,220 fish and 90 amphibians were used in the university’s laboratories in 2013.
The statistics have led The National Anti-Vivisection Society to call on the university to ditch the practice and pursue “more reliable” research methods. Only six universities who responded to the FOI request used more animals than Birmingham.
Topping the league table nationally was Oxford University with 190,169, followed by Imperial College London, with 130,358, and Cardiff University, 63,578.
Aston University used 1,984 animals in the same time period, including 1,543 mice in vascular physiology, neuroscience and immunology experiments, 366 rats and 40 guinea pigs.
A University of Birmingham spokesman stressed the use of lab animals is vital in the battle against life-threatening disease.
He said: “We are involved in research to develop drugs and medical technologies that will help in the fight against life threatening and debilitating diseases and improve health care for patients. Some diseases and health problems involve processes that can only be studied in a living organism.
“The university will always ensure that any animals used are humanely treated.
“We adhere to strict guidelines from the Home Office and we have periodic visits from a Home Office inspector who checks the welfare of the animals used in research and the facilities that they are kept in.”
But The National Anti-Vivisection Society said universities should replace animal testing with other methods of research.
Chief executive Jan Creamer added: “Birmingham residents and students will be shocked to hear that so many animals are suffering at the University of Birmingham. Researchers are increasingly rejecting animal experiments, which are scientifically unreliable, in favour of more advanced technology.
“We urge the University of Birmingham to ditch outdated animal experiments and adopt tests that will benefit humans and animals alike.”