Animal Experimentation in the United States (2009)
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"
Animal Experimentation in the United States (2009)
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 safeguards.
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 2009) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics list a total of 1,136,841 (a one-year increase of 7%) primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other species as being subjected to experimental procedures. The species by species listings include:
31,106 other farm animals
136,509 other animals
207,257 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 1200And since some specific laboratories report using over 100,000 animals the omission of even 22 reports could be very significant.
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. For example, while the USDA reports the use of over 69,990 primates, an almost equal number of primates are imprisoned in breeding colonies.
How does the federal government manage to spend so much money on animal experiments? Simple, it pays for the same experiment to be done over and over and over again. 57 projects currently study visual neural information processing in macaque monkeys, costing over $110 million every five years. Similar levels of duplication exist in areas such as drug addiction, psychological experimentation, etc. Even if this experimentation was worthwhile, why must we pay for it to be done over and over and over again? Why does this duplication continue?
Simple again hundreds of institutions and thousands of individuals make money from these experiments. 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.
Where Does the Money Come From?
Many federal agencies fund animal experiments including: 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).
The National Institutes of Health has been estimated to spend over $12 billion per year on animal experimentation.
Almost NO Legal Protection
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the only law that regulates animal laboratories in the United States. The AWA is enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Over 90% of the animals used in experimentation (rats, mice, birds, amphibians, etc.) are not considered animals by this law, and receive no protection whatsoever. No experiment is illegal, no matter how painful or cruel.
The existence of the Animal Welfare Act has not protected animals from abuse in laboratories.
- At the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research the postmortem dissection of a baboon was begun before the animals was dead.
- At Michigan State University a puppy named Kelly was allowed to drown in a floor drain and 66 mink died of heat prostration.
- Five dogs died at Loyola University in Chicago due to a lack of post surgical monitoring.
- A hamster was killed in a cage washing system and as many as 19 living hamsters were put into a freezer for dead animals without being properly euthanized at the Bioreliance lab.
- The hands of primates were crushed and 32 other primates were killed during a heating malfunction at a Charles River Laboratories facility.
- University of Washington researchers were cited for performing unapproved surgical procedures on primates.
- The brain of an un-anesthetized monkey was subjected to a scraping procedure at Vanderbilt University.
Most of these incidents did not result in any fines or meaningful enforcement actions by the USDA
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 experimentation.
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 animal experimentation.
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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