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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

Squalor in the Laboratories
An Audit of Animal Welfare Act Compliance by U.S. Research Facilities; With Detailed Examinations of Fifteen Nationally Known Labs
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
[email protected]


The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the only law which protects the millions of animals that are used in experimentation every year. This law deals with many issues regarding animals that are confined within laboratories. Feeding, watering, cage cleaning, veterinary care, approval of experiments, etc. -- all of these things are regulated by the AWA.

The AWA is enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS). APHIS inspects thousands of facilities every year. Are laboratories following the law? Is the AWA being routinely violated by major laboratories? How are animals being cared for?

Monitoring all laboratories and examining the use of all species in all laboratories would be an impossibly large task. The USDA regulates over 1.4 million animals in over 1100 laboratories every year. Therefore, this audit will not examine all facilities, but will attempt to look at a broad spectrum of facilities. Labs will be examined which represent a broad geographical range of the U.S. Labs with and without a history of violations will be examined. And facilities with a broad range of animal use (few animals used to large numbers of animals used) will be examined.

However, the use of primates in laboratories will be a substantial focus of this audit. Primates will be used for several reasons. First, a substantial portion of the overall number of primates used nationally can be examined because they are centered in a relatively small number of facilities. Second, relatively new regulations exist regarding environmental enrichment for primates, and the examination of the implementation of these new regulations will provide information on how well laboratories implement new rules.

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