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

The Defender
Vol. 2, No. 2 - Fall/Winter 2003

Part 2: Is Primate Experimentation Increasing? How Much Does it Cost?

Due to inconsistencies in the USDA reporting methods, it is impossible to compare 2002 animal use statistics with those from previous years. Since trends involving actual primate use numbers cannot be developed from government statistics, the number of research projects which utilize primates will be discussed.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the government agency which funds the single largest portion of animal research. Therefore, the number of grants funded by NIH will be used as a gauge of the overall direction of primate experimentation. As the table (below) indicates, the use of primates in experimentation has increased by 59.5% in the last ten years. During 2002 the NIH funded almost 1500 separate grants that supported primate experimentation. The most commonly used species is the macaque monkey, with baboons and squirrel monkeys running a distant second and third.

National Institutes of Health Primate Grants

Species # 2002 grants # 1993 grants % increase
Macaque 1070 680 57.4
Baboon 177 101 75.2
Chimpanzee 62 31 100.0
Squirrel Monkey 94 77 22.1
Marmoset 40 22 81.8
Aotus 28 15 86.7
Mangabey 12 4 200.0
Totals 1483 930 59.5%

While exact totals are not available from the federal government for primate experimentation funding, an estimate can be derived from the number of grants listed above. The most recent average grant amount posted by the NIH is approximately $300,000 per grant. When this is multiplied by the number of grants listed above, and the amounts of specific large grants (i.e. grants for the Primate Centers and several other large primate labs) are added in, an estimate for the amount spent by the NIH on primate experimentation can be derived. This total is $502,291,729 (see next table). Similarly, searching the DOD (Department of Defense) database (available at http://www.dtic.mil/biosys/org/brd/index.htm ) provides a total of 68 projects involving primates. Assuming the same cost level as the NIH, the DOD is spending approximately $20,400,000 on primate experimentation. This would give us a grant total of $522,691,729 spent on primate experimentation from only two federal agencies. This total would not include funding of projects from agencies such as NASA, USDA, etc. It would be safe to say that the federal government is currently spending between $530 and $550 million per year on primate experimentation.

2002 National Primate Experimentation Funding Estimate

Total of NIH-funded Primate Grants 1483 x $300,000 = $444,900,000
Total of Specific large Primate Grants (i.e. Primate Center base grants, etc.) $ 57,391,729
Total DOD projects 68 x $300,000 = $ 20,400,000
Other Federal Agencies (USDA, EPA, NASA, etc.) probably over $ 7,000,000
Estimate Total Federal Spending on Primate Experimentation ~$530,000,000

Go on to Part 3:  What kinds of Experiments are Performed on Primates?

Return to Vol. 2, No. 2 - Fall/Winter 2003
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