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,
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.
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
48,888 other farm animals
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. For example, while the USDA reports the use
of over 52,000 primates, another 43,000 are imprisoned in breeding
the Money Come From?
Many federal agencies
fund animal experiments including: the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), Agency for Health
Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Office of Assistant Secretary of
During fiscal 2003 these seven agencies within the federal government
funded over 30,426 projects involving experimentation on more than 27
different species including: macaque monkeys, squirrel monkeys, rats,
mice, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, and cats.
Use of these species in federally funded projects has increased 42%
in the last ten years.
Government-funded experiments in these species cost U.S. taxpayers over
$12 billion annually, an increase of over 156%
How does the federal government manage to spend so much
money on animal experiments? Simple, it pays for the same
experiment to be done over and over and over again. 175
projects currently study neural information processing in macaque
monkeys, costing over $70 million. 245 projects study cocaine in rats
($98,154,595), 108 projects study cocaine in mice ($43,268,148), and 46
projects study cocaine in macaque monkeys ($18,429,026). In total, 399
projects currently study cocaine in three different species, costing an
estimated total of $159,851,769 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
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 $199,514,238
University of CA, Los Angeles
Johns Hopkins University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Wisconsin, Madison $177,921,960
University of Washington, Seattle
University of Michigan
What YOU can do to Fight Animal Experimentation:
Read, copy, and distribute this fact sheet.
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
U.S. House of
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) website:
www.saenonline.org to investigate labs in your area. Contact
SAEN for help with investigations or for event planning.
Write to your federal legislators to request a General Accounting
Office (GAO) investigation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded
Send as large a tax-deductible donation as you can afford to Stop Animal
Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) to support this campaign.
Send contributions to:
1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, OH 45150