During fiscal year 2002 the total number of animals
used in experimentation for species regulated by the Animal Welfare Act
(this excludes rats, mice and other species --the majority of animals
used in experimentation) was 1,438,553. This is an increase of 201,660
animals from the fiscal year 2001 total of 1,236,903. This is an
increase of 16.3%, which is the 4th highest single year
increase in history (i.e. since the reporting of these statistics began
While the overall picture for animals in labs was
grim, the situation for certain species was even worse. The use of cats
in experimentation rose to a total of 77,091 from last year’s total of
22,755. This is an increase of 54,336 or 239%. This is the largest
number of cats used in experimentation since the USDA began compiling
statistics on animal experimentation.
Primates fared no better. During 2002 96,061 primates
were used in experimentation. This is the largest number of primates
used in the history of experimentation. The increase of 46,679 from the
2001 total of 49,382 was one of the largest in history climbing by an
Dog usage increased to 77,906 during 2002. This is an
increase of 7,824 or 11%. This is the largest number of dogs used since
The use of guinea pigs in experimentation increased to
304,039, a change of 47,846 or 18.7%. Experiments on rabbits increased
also, with 312,630 falling under the knife. This was an increase of
45,279, or 16.9%. Hamster use increased too, reaching 193,115 an upsurge
of 25,884 or 15.5%. The only decreases were in the catchall categories
of "other animals" and "other farm animals."
The magnitude of this issue is difficult to grasp.
Therefore, a table (following) breaks down the national statistics to
daily numbers for each species. For the species – primates, dogs, cats,
rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, sheep, pigs and miscellaneous categories
-- which are regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, an average of 3941
animals were used in experimentation each day during 2002.
Due to recent legislation rats, mice, and other
species are still exempted from the Animal Welfare Act. As a result,
these other animals are not even counted. Therefore, we have no real
idea how many animals are experimented upon in the U.S. every year.
However, with rats and mice (and other species) considered to make up
more than 90% of the animals used in the U.S., it would be safe to
estimate total U.S. animal experimentation between 19,000,000 and
29,000,000. A conservative annual estimate would be 24,000,000. Or, to
make this number easier to grasp, an average of approximately 66,000
animals are experimented on each day in the U.S.