The largest number of mammals in scientific research in the United States is also the most invisible. Mice and mice make up the vast majority of laboratory mammals, but no one knows the exact number, or even how many mammals are used in scientific experiments every year.Now, for the first time, someone has tried to use the data of American laboratories to calculate this number, and the number is very large. According to a new study, more than 111 million mice and rats are used in biomedical research in the United States each year. This represents more than 99% of all laboratory animals.
Sue Leary, President of the alternative research and Development Foundation (ARDF), said it was a very thoughtful and reasonable analysis. The foundation aims to reduce the number of animals in the laboratory and find alternatives. She said the figures are disturbing because mice and rats are not covered by the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which imposes humane treatment on research animals. If the numbers are close to right, the amount of pain and suffering that happens to these animals is totally unacceptable.
However, many people in the biomedical field say that the number published in the scientific report today is seriously overestimated, and the research itself has serious defects. Speaking of research, which advocates the use of laboratory animals, estimates that it uses 10 to 25 million rodents a year in U.S. facilities, representing 93 to 97 percent of all research mammals in the United States.
The U.S. Congress signed the law in 1966 and amended the U.S. wildlife protection act in 1970 to cover all warm blooded animals. However, the United States Department of agriculture (USDA), which implements the bill, refuses to apply it to most birds and rats because of lack of resources. Some animal rights groups, including ARDF, fought against this exclusion. But in 2002, Congress amended the AWA to formally exclude these organisms, which means that the USDA has never counted the number of rodents used in experiments, nor tracked the types of experiments they are used in.
Animal and biomedical advocates have made the best guess. According to NaBr's understanding of research facilities, 95% of laboratory mammals in the United States are rodents. This is equivalent to about 14.8 million animals, similar to the statistical average of speaking of research.