In 2010 US government statistics put the number of laboratory animals used in research at 1,136,567. The above graph shows the breakdown of different species used. It is important to note that these statistics do not include rats, mice, birds and fish, as these animals are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act. Precise figures for the number of rats, mice, birds and fish do not exist, but it is estimated that approximately 25 million of these animals are used every year. This would account for over 95% of all animals used for such in the US, as the graph below shows us.
Dogs, cats and non-human primates together account for less than 1% of the animals used in research every year.
Government statistics show that the use of non-rodent animals has been declining over the past two decades. Since 1985 the use of animals has almost halves in the US. This includes a fall in the number of dogs from over 200,000 in 1979, to under 65,000 in 2011. Some of this fall reflects a movement towards the use of genetically modified mice.
Let us put the number of animals used in perspective. Scientists in the US use approximately 26 million animals in research, of which only around 1 million are not rats/mice/birds/fish. We use fewer animals in research than the number of ducks eaten per year in this country. We consume over 1800 times the number of pigs than the number used in research. We eat over 340 chickens for each animal used in a research facility, and almost 9,000 chickens for every animal used in research covered by the Animal Welfare Act. For every animal used in research, it is estimated that 14 more are killed on our roads.
Graph 1,2 & 3 References:
(1) AWA Reports, 1973-2010
Graph 4 References
(1) AWA 2010 Report
(3) Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2002. “In the Headlights: As Man and Beast Clash on Highways, Both Sides Lose.“
(4) National Agricultural Statistics Service 2007 – http://www.nass.usda.gov/