Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 17:03 UK

Use of experiment primates shown

A macaque
The primates used by university researchers are macaques

Oxford University has revealed the number of primates it uses for animal experiments, after being ordered to by the Information Commissioner.

The university had refused to release the figures in response to a Freedom of Information request, saying it would put researchers at risk.

In 2008 the university held 86 primates with 66 experimented upon, compared to 99 held and 40 experimented on in 2007.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection had requested the details.

'Too many'

The primates used by university researchers are macaques.

Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of the BUAV said: "For us one primate being used is too many.

"We do welcome the release of this information, but the key question for us is why the university fought so hard and so long not to have this basic information made public.

"We wanted more information about what actually happens to the primates, they've released a summary of that and the simple numbers."

The university said it had refused the request for information, made in 2006, partly on the grounds that it would endanger the safety of its researchers.

In April the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas ruled that releasing the information would not increase the risk to the health or safety of any person.

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