World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week

World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week is the week that surrounds April 24th every year - It's a national week of protests, media events, etc. at laboratories to stop testing and research on animals

Fact Sheets

Animal Experimentation in the United States (July 2003)
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 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 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:

68,220 dogs
68,348 pigs
24,184 cats
48,888 other farm animals 
180,086 other animals
52,279 primates
243,748 rabbits
179,971 hamsters
25,685 sheep
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 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. 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 annually.

Government Waste

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

Harvard $100,172,000

Johns Hopkins University $191,400,000

Yale $173,400,000

Stanford $114,000,000

Vanderbilt $128,400,000

Emory University $113,575,000

Duke University $110,700,000

Baylor $162,300,000

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 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
202-224-3121 www.house.gov

Senator ____________________
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-3121 www.senate.gov

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:

SAEN
1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, OH 45150

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