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From 20 April 2003 Issue

The Rising Tide of Animal Experimentation
An Investigative Report Based on the Most Current USDA Statistics
Conclusion
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director
S.A.E.N. - Stop Animal Exploitation Now!
World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week
http://www.all-creatures.org/wlalw/index.html 

Due to increased government funding and other factors, the use of animals in experimentation has increased dramatically from 2001 to 2002. The overall national total of 1,438,553 for 2002 is an increase of 16.3% over 2001. This increase of 201,660 (16.3%) animals is the fourth largest single year increase ever.

The use of both primates (96,061) and cats (77,091) has reached the highest levels for these species since the beginning of the statistical tracking of animal experimentation. All other areas of animal use in experimentation (dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.) have increased, save only the "other animals" and "other farm animals" categories.

At a time when improvements in technology should be allowing for non-invasive clinical studies using sophisticated imaging techniques (fMRI, PET, etc.) and in vitro technology should be leading to a dramatic decrease in animal use, the exact opposite appears to be taking place.

Reports issued by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! have revealed that the number of animals used in experimentation appears to be skyrocketing. Similarly, the level of funding assigned to animal experimentation by government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health has reached an amazing $10 billion annually.

This is no coincidence. University officials have seen the opportunity to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars annually from government agencies for the performance of research. They have apparently decided to fill their collective pockets with taxpayers’ dollars, and they have done this at a time when our government is facing huge deficits. Researchers grasp for six-figure salaries at our expense.

Caught in the middle we find millions of animals. With the majority of animals still receiving no protection, due to the exclusion of rats, mice, and other species from the Animal Welfare Act by recent legislation, these creatures become little more than grist for the money mill that runs through the campuses of our colleges and universities.

We still do not have universal health care in the U.S. Drug addiction is a major problem in our schools. The National Institutes of Health has responded to these crises by spending $10 billion a year on scientifically questionable animals experiments, including over $384 million spent to make drug addicts out of rats, mice and primates.

Therefore, we are issuing twin calls to action today. Every American taxpayer should be angered by the continual squandering of billions on useless animal experiments. Each and every one of us should be disgusted by the white-coated welfare program which is currently being supported by the National Institutes of Health. We are calling upon every taxpayer to contact his/her elected officials and demand an accounting. We all have a right to know what has been gained from the decades of multi-billion dollar expenditures, and the deaths of tens of millions animals.

We are also calling upon every animal protection organization to again make opposition to animal experimentation a major focus of activity. Certainly, there are many worthwhile issues that deserve our attention. However, if we do not soon begin to turn the tide against animal experimentation, it may be too late.

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World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week is this week that surrounds April 24th, every year. It's a national week of protests, media events, etc. at laboratories to stop testing and research on animals. For more information on what you can do, go to How You Can Help World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week: http://www.all-creatures.org/wlalw/help.html 

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