The Facts About Animal Experiments
Animal experimentation is a scandal that has been hidden
from the American public. We have been lead to believe that the animals
used in experiments are well treated and that the procedures performed on
these animals are thoroughly regulated and governed by federal laws.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Over 90% of the animals used in experimentation are
purposely excluded from protection under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA --
the only federal law that governs animal experimentation). Rats, mice,
birds, and many other species have been expressly eliminated from all
The AWA places no real restrictions on what can be done to
an animal during an experiment. Animals are routinely subjected to
addictive drugs, electric shock, food & water deprivation, isolation,
severe confinement, caustic chemicals, burning, blinding, chemical and
biological weapons, radiation, etc. The "scientist" in question only has
to say that a specific procedure is "necessary" for the experiment, and it
is allowed. The goal is not to protect the animal; the goal is to insure
that the experiment proceeds -- at any cost.
The National Death Toll
Recent (fiscal 2002) United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) statistics list a total of 1,136,841 primates, dogs,
cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other species as being subjected
to experimental procedures. The species by species listings include:
48,888 other farm animals
180,086 other animals
245,432 guinea pigs
However, this total is likely far from accurate. At no time
have all laboratories in the U.S. reported their experimental totals. The
total of non-reporting facilities has varied from 22 to 128 (out of
approximately 1200). And since some specific laboratories report using
over 100,000 animals the omission of even 22 reports could be very
The species that are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act
(rats, mice, etc.) are not even counted. Therefore, the total above
ignores the majority of animals experimented upon in the U.S. The real
number of animals experimented on in the U.S. each year is well over 20
million. Additionally, these statistics do not cover animals that are
caged in laboratories but are being held for conditioning or breeding. In
some instances the number of these other animals can almost equal the
experimental victims. For example, while the USDA reports the use of over
52,000 primates, another 43,000 are imprisoned in breeding colonies.
Where Does the Money Come From?
Many different government agencies fund animal experiments.
These agencies include NASA, Department of Defense, National Science
Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, and National
Institutes of Health.
The National Institutes of Health (a part of the Department
of Health and Human Services) is one of the largest funding sources for
animal experimentation in the U.S. During fiscal 2002 the NIH funded
33,014 projects that involved experimentation on macaque monkeys, squirrel
monkeys, rats, mice, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, and cats. Use of these
species in NIH funded projects has increased 25% in the last five years,
59.7% in the last ten years. Trends in the use of these species indicate
that animal experimentation as a whole in the U.S. is increasing. NIH-funded
experiments in these species cost U.S. taxpayers approximately $10 billion
How does the NIH manage to spend so much money on animal
experiments? Simple, the NIH pays for the same experiment to be done over
and over and over again. 187 projects currently study neural information
processing in macaque monkeys, costing over $56 million. 284 projects
study cocaine in rats ($85,200,000), 110 projects study cocaine in mice
($33,000,000), and 51 projects study cocaine in macaque monkeys
($15,300,000). In total, 445 projects currently study cocaine in three
different species, costing an estimated total of $133,500,000 annually.
The list goes on and on and on. Even if this
experimentation was worthwhile, why must we pay for it to be done over and
over and over again? Who wants this duplication to continue?
Simple (again), hundreds of institutions and thousands of
individuals make money from these experiments. Look at the table of
approximations below for some examples. The bottom line is that the
federal government currently supports an industry that squanders billions
of dollars, kills tens of millions of animals, and is essentially
unregulated. No experiment, no matter how painful, is illegal. The
majority of animals used in experimentation receive absolutely no
protection under current laws.
University of CA, San Francisco $159,600,000
University of CA, Los Angeles $144,900,000
Johns Hopkins University $191,400,000
Emory University $113,575,000
Duke University $110,700,000
University of Pennsylvania $215,700,000
University of Wisconsin, Madison $106,457,000
University of Washington, Seattle $270,845,000
University of Michigan $185,400,000
What YOU can do to Fight Animal Experimentation:
1. Read, copy, and distribute this fact sheet.
2. Contact your Senators and Representatives to ask for these things:
A. Extend the protection of law to all species that are the victims of
B. Extend the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit:
1. The use of electric shock
2. Food and water deprivation
3. The use of extreme confinement, such as the primate restraint chair
The Honorable ____________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Washington, D.C. 20510
3. Organize public events to expose abuses at facilities in your area. Use
the Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) website: www.saenonline.org to
investigate labs in your area. Contact SAEN for help with investigations
or for event planning.
4. Write to your federal legislators to request a General Accounting
Office (GAO) investigation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded
5. Send as large a tax-deductible donation as you can afford to Stop
Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) to support this campaign.
Send contributions to:
1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, OH 45150
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