FACTS ABOUT ANIMAL TESTING
ANIMAL USE IN LABORATORIES
Please note that the following information contains facts and figures from primary source documents, such as reports released by the United States government, as well as domestic and international legislature. It is our wish to share the plight of animals in laboratories using only verifiable facts so that the public may understand the objective reality of the situation.
Every year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Animal Health Inspection Services (APHIS) releases a report detailing the use of animals in experiments.
Many people have an image of easily-dismissed (for some) “pest” animals like mice and rats doing the bulk of the suffering in laboratories, without ever knowing how many “beloved” species are enduring the same treatment. According to the 2019 report (the one most recently released as of spring 2021), the breakdowns of reported animal usage in USDA-registered and federal facilities for that year was as follows:
GUINEA PIGS: 181,993
NONHUMAN PRIMATES: 68,257
OTHER COVERED SPECIES: 165,017*
Note the asterisk next to “covered species” – the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) intentionally excludes “rats of the genus rattus, mice of the genus mus, and birds bred for use in research” from being under its protection. That means that animals we perhaps most associate with animal testing are being used in quite literally untold numbers. With guinea pigs and hamsters
making up a combined total of 280,289 of the animals on which testing was reported, it is safe to assume that at least as many rats and mice meet the same fate, easily putting the number of total animals in laboratories in the United States at well over a million creatures. Take into consideration the fact that reptiles and fish are also not covered under the AWA and the number grows even larger.
Animal testing for cosmetics
Many countries – including the whole European Union, Israel, India, Norway, Taiwan, and New Zealand – have outlawed the testing of cosmetics on living animals.
Unfortunately, the United States of America is not among these countries.
We hope the world will continue to follow the lead of the countries having already banned cosmetics testing on animals, and even in the United States our legislation is trending in that direction, with Illinois, California, and Nevada all passing laws banning animal testing for the purpose of cosmetics.
Until then, we will continue to provide healthcare and emotional rehabilitation to animals who have survived the cosmetic testing process (among others).
Although some laboratories euthanize animals at the end of experiments because their deaths are part of the experiment or else they’re in too much permanent pain, other laboratories simply “terminate” animals at the end of the study because that is standard protocol. It often isn’t even considered that these animals should be allowed to live out the rest of their lives in comfortable and compassionate conditions allowing for natural behavior.
The slogan “Life After Labs®” is meant to emphasize the idea of that possibility – that an animal’s life does not have to end when the laboratory study does.
If anything, this is when those animals’ lives can finally begin.
At the New Life Animal Sanctuary, we put our slogan into action by taking in as many animals previously used in laboratories as possible and adopting them out to suitable homes, or else allowing them to permanently retire happily and healthily at our sanctuary.
Often animals come to us with physical injuries and emotional trauma, and we provide them with top-notch veterinary care from qualified professionals of the appropriate specialty, and tons of love and patience from our compassionate volunteers. Our goal is to ensure that each animal we rescue from a life of suffering, primarily from laboratories, receives the level of care they deserve to spend their remaining lifetime free from pain and stress, with all the treats they can eat and snuggles they desire.
It is not an inexpensive undertaking to provide these hundreds of animals with medical care and specialized diets, but it’s one we firmly believe is immensely important. With over a million animals in USDA-licensed labs each year, spreading the word about the automatic “disposal” of so many animals in laboratories and providing as many as possible with a loving and safe new home is imperative. If you are able to, please consider donating to our wonderful animals to help each one truly thrive in their new Life After Labs®.
USDA/APHIS 2019 https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/annual-reports/2019/fy19-