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It is now just over ten years since Medewar made the prediction that the number of laboratory animals used every year would peak. Figures produced by the U.K. authorities indicate that he was more or less correct. Although the number of recorded animal experiments in the U.K. has stabilized around 5.4 million per annum and may even be falling, it is by no means clear whether this is due to reduced funding and the increasing expense of laboratory animals or to the development and adoption of alternatives (see Box). The most likely explanation is that this peaking is the result of a combination of these and related factors. Whatever the reason, we are entering the 80's amid a flurry of interest in and activity around the idea of "alternatives to laboratory animals."