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

Articles and Reports

 The Animal Experimentation Scandal (2005 Updated Report):
An Audit of the Funding of Animal Experimentation By Seven Federal Agencies Listing the top Laboratories – in Order of Funding Received During 2003
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!

Summary

In summary, it appears that the current system for grant approval has been constituted in such a way as to provide for the approval of almost any grant for an animal experimentation project, with few motivations for a project to be disapproved. The individuals involved in the approval process often have a vested interest in approving grants, with little or no incentive to disapprove grants.

The existing system has led to a steady climb (30,426 for 2003 projects in target species, a 42% increase for a ten-year period) in the number of animal experimentation projects funded by the NIH over the last ten years. A conservative estimate of the current annual expenditure for animal based experimentation as it is funded by the National Institutes of Health exceeds $12 billion which is a 156% increase for a ten-year period.

50 nationally known laboratories (which account for receive an average of roughly $144 million annually for the performance of animal experimentation (see Appendix B for individual facility totals), 33 of these facilities receive over $100 million per year, and ten have reached approximately $200 million or more (the top lab received $440 million). Since laboratories have a monetary interest in performing as much experimentation as possible, it is expected that without radical changes to the grant approval process these numbers of animal experiments will continue to increase. Sixteen of these top labs for receiving federal funding for animal experimentation are also among the 25 offenders for violating federal laws regarding animal care. This table is available as Appendix C.

Several specific areas of experimentation have been examined to study the issue of experimental duplication. 175 separate projects study neural information processing in macaque monkeys, with 127 of these studying visual neural information processing. Additionally, 399 grants study cocaine in rats, mice or macaque monkeys potentially using more than $160 million annually. These agencies are also currently funding 587 animal studies on alcohol in rats, mice or macaque monkeys that consume an estimated $235 million each year. These areas of addiction research expend $452 million annually. Should we consider re-directing this funding towards programs that directly benefit humans suffering from substance abuse? Another substantial area of duplication, which has been questioned by medical experts, is cancer research in rodents. These seven agencies currently fund 3904 grants for rodent-based cancer research with an annual cost of $1.6 billion.

When all of these areas of duplication are taken together they total roughly $2.1 billion or 17% of the overall total for the funding of animal experiments by these agencies. Clearly, there are probably many more areas of duplication in the use of animals in experimentation. The cost of redundancy is clearly in the billions.

The consumption of this funding in animal experiments may also prevent U.S. citizens from accessing the social programs that they need. How many people could be funded in substance abuse programs with the $452 million that is currently directed at animal experiments in addiction? How many of them will die for lack of treatment? What will the cost be to our society in health care, criminal justice and other programs because these people weren’t treated? What is more important keeping multi-million dollar laboratories open, or keeping U.S. citizens alive?

It is time that we end the process of writing the research community a $12 billion blank check every year for the purpose of performing animal experimentation with little more than a vague hope that any real benefits will result. Every day the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Office of Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) spends over $33,396,161 on animal experiments. Shouldn’t we be examining this whole process much more closely?

A radical restructuring of the grant approval system and the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee system is necessary to prevent further waste of federal tax dollars and animal lives.

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