By WAN –
October 19, 2018
Animal testing must stop!
Yesterday, Animal Defenders International warned that the latest government figures on the number of animals used in experiments are incorrect; noting that 792,168 animals were subjected to procedures in the United States in 2017, a decrease of 28,644 on the previous year.
“The level of suffering in U.S. laboratories is shameful, these figures representing just the tip of the iceberg,” Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International, said in a statement. “With only 5% of animals used in experiments recorded by the USDA, ADI calls on the Agency to urgently address the lack of transparency and accountability in animal research and acknowledge the forgotten millions.”
The annual figures from the USDA fail to include mice, rats, and birds, species that, shockingly, are not covered under the Animal Welfare Act. The National Association for Biomedical Research estimates that 95% of animals used in U.S. experiments are mice and rats, which puts conservative totals for their use into the tens of millions.
The vast majority of animals are killed at the end of experiments.
More than 62,000 animals were used in procedures involving pain “Category E” (meaning animals subjected to painful or stressful procedures that were NOT relieved with pain medications or anesthetics); this is a decrease of 13% since 2016.
Animal experiments cause suffering and are expensive, unnecessary, and often taxpayer-funded.
ADI’s studies of the use of animals in research have highlighted information showing that such testing produces misleading results, due to the fundamental differences between species in their reaction to substances. It is time to replace outdated animal tests with methods that are more relevant to humans. The fastest growing area of scientific research involves advanced techniques and a bank of alternative non-animal methods that can provide accurate human data, rather than potentially misrepresentative animal data.
ADI has recently provided evidence to the US Food and Drug Administration to support the adoption of human-relevant non-animal methods as part of the FDA’s roadmap and recommendations for safety testing of particular products. Safety (toxicology) testing often involves animals being force fed substances and drugs or having them applied to their skin.
Last month, California passed the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which outlaws the import and sale of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients tested on animals from January 1, 2020.
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