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


The Rising Tide of Animal Experimentation:
An Investigative Report Based on the Most Current USDA Statistics

Revealing National Trends in Animal Experimentation and Daily Statistics for Animal Use During 2002

By: Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director,
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!

National Statistics

During fiscal year 2002 the total number of animals used in experimentation for species regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (this excludes rats, mice and other species --the majority of animals used in experimentation) was 1,438,553. This is an increase of 201,660 animals from the fiscal year 2001 total of 1,236,903. This is an increase of 16.3%, which is the 4th highest single year increase in history (i.e. since the reporting of these statistics began in 1973).

While the overall picture for animals in labs was grim, the situation for certain species was even worse. The use of cats in experimentation rose to a total of 77,091 from last year’s total of 22,755. This is an increase of 54,336 or 239%. This is the largest number of cats used in experimentation since the USDA began compiling statistics on animal experimentation.

Primates fared no better. During 2002 96,061 primates were used in experimentation. This is the largest number of primates used in the history of experimentation. The increase of 46,679 from the 2001 total of 49,382 was one of the largest in history climbing by an astronomical 94.5%.

Dog usage increased to 77,906 during 2002. This is an increase of 7,824 or 11%. This is the largest number of dogs used since 1996.

The use of guinea pigs in experimentation increased to 304,039, a change of 47,846 or 18.7%. Experiments on rabbits increased also, with 312,630 falling under the knife. This was an increase of 45,279, or 16.9%. Hamster use increased too, reaching 193,115 an upsurge of 25,884 or 15.5%. The only decreases were in the catchall categories of "other animals" and "other farm animals."

The magnitude of this issue is difficult to grasp. Therefore, a table (following) breaks down the national statistics to daily numbers for each species. For the species – primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, sheep, pigs and miscellaneous categories -- which are regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, an average of 3941 animals were used in experimentation each day during 2002.

Due to recent legislation rats, mice, and other species are still exempted from the Animal Welfare Act. As a result, these other animals are not even counted. Therefore, we have no real idea how many animals are experimented upon in the U.S. every year. However, with rats and mice (and other species) considered to make up more than 90% of the animals used in the U.S., it would be safe to estimate total U.S. animal experimentation between 19,000,000 and 29,000,000. A conservative annual estimate would be 24,000,000. Or, to make this number easier to grasp, an average of approximately 66,000 animals are experimented on each day in the U.S.

Go on to Table: U.S. Daily Animal Use in Experimentation

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