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
Animal Experimentation in the United States
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 that are performed on these animals are thoroughly regulated and governed by federal laws. Nothing could be further from the truth.Over 90% of the animals that are used in experimentation are purposely excluded from protection under the Animal Welfare Act (the only federal law that governs animal experimentation). Rats, mice, birds, and many other species have been expressly eliminated from all safeguards.
There are 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 2000) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics list a total of 1,416,643 primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other species as being subjected to experimental procedures. The species by species listings include:
505,009 guinea pigs
69,129 other farm animals
166,429 other animals
However, this total is far from accurate. At no time during the last 5 years 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 these other animals can comprise an additional 40% (or more) of the current totals. For example, while the USDA reports the use of approximately 60,000 primates, as many as another 40,000 may be imprisoned in breeding colonies.
Where Does the Money Come From?
Many different government agencies fund animal experiments. These agencies include NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the 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 2001 the NIH funded 29,441 projects that involved experimentation on macaque monkeys, squirrel monkeys, rats, mice, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, and cats. Trends in the use of these species indicate that animal experimentation as a whole in the U.S. is increasing. Use of these species in NIH funded projects has increased 18.3% in the last five years, 37.3% in the last ten years. NIH funded experiments in these species cost U.S. taxpayers approximately $8.5 billion annually.
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. There are currently 170 projects that study neural information processing in macaque monkeys. 90 NIH funded projects study neural information processing in cats. 75 projects study cocaine in monkeys. 286 experiments study cocaine in rats. 109 study cocaine in mice. 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: $166,156,140
University of CA, Los Angeles: $134,090,920
Johns Hopkins University: $185,978,276
Emory University: $118,185,010
Duke University: $107,564,238
University of Pennsylvania: $211,338,950
University of Wisconsin, Madison: $102,849,673
University of Washington, Seattle: $157,702,582
University of Michigan: $170,237,168
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:
The use of electric shock
Food and water deprivation
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) World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week website http://www.all-creatures.org/wlalw/ 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.
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
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