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"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

The Primate Experimentation Scandal, 2003
An Investigative Report
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

Is Experimentation on Primates Increasing?
How Much Money is Spent on Primate Experimentation?

Due to changes in the way that the USDA categorizes primates within research facilities it is impossible to compare fiscal 2002 animal use statistics with those from previous years. Since trends cannot be elucidated by discussing individual animals, the number of research projects which utilize primates will be discussed. The National Institutes of Health is the government agency which funds the single largest portion of animal research. Therefore, the number of grants funded by this agency will be used as a gauge of the overall direction of primate experimentation. The time period used will be a ten-year span (1993 2002).

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%

As the table indicates, the use of primates in experimentation has increased by 59.5% in the last ten years. Searches within the NIH system on generic terms reveal similar trends. Projects utilizing monkeys increased by 51.9% over the same ten-year period (from 297 to 451), and projects using the word primate increased 77.8% in ten years (from 559 to 994).

Again, exact totals are not available regarding the amount of funding that primate experimentation receives from the federal government. However, an estimate can be derived from the number of grants listed above. The most recent average grant amount posted by the National Institutes of Health 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 explanation below). Similarly, searching the DOD database (available at http://www.scitechweb.com/acau/brd/) 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, the USDA, etc. It would be safe to say that the federal government is currently spending between $530,000,000 and $550,000,000 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: What Kinds of Experiments are Performed on Primates?
Return to:
The Primate Experimentation Scandal, 2003 - An Investigative Report

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