Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All About Animal Testing

Did you know that more than 100 million animals are used in U.S. research experiments every year?

Did you know that the USDA reports over one million dogs, cats, non-human primates, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and farmed animals (used for biomedical research) are experimented on in U.S. laboratories each year?  
Did you know that for every pesticide sold in North America, at least 10,000 rats, mice,
rabbits, dogs, birds, and fish were killed in laboratory poisoning tests?
What’s worse, every time government regulatory agencies look to study new health and environmental effects,
this translates directly into many hundreds or thousands of additional animals who could
be forced to suffer and die for every pesticide, industrial chemical, drug, food additive,
consumer product, or genetically modified food marketed.

Did you know that the Animal Welfare Act, signed into law in 1996, does not extend to rats, mice, birds, fish, and other cold-blooded animals bred for research?
And these species make up about 95 percent of the animals used in research, none of whom are covered by the very law that was designed to protect lab animals from serious neglect and abuse.

Source: The American Anti-Vivisection Society (www.aavs.org)

Pain and Distress (from www.aavs.org)
The USDA breaks down the number of animals used by the category of pain and distress they experience during the experiments. No Pain, No Drugs (Category C) means that the animals experienced no or only momentary pain and distress. With Pain, With Drugs (Category D) means that the animals were used in experiments that did cause significant pain and distress, but received medication to relieve or treat the pain. With Pain, No Drugs (Category E) means that animals experienced unalleviated pain and distress as part of the experiment.
Over 73,000 animals, seven percent of the total, experienced unalleviated pain and distress in 2006.

Animals used in research by catagory of pain and distress

Sources of animals
There is an entire industry built around supplying animals for research. Class B dealers buy and sell animals solely for research purposes. These dealers obtain animals from auctions, through pound seizure (purchasing animals from pounds or shelters so that they can be used in research), from ‘free to good home’ ads, and through other means that are sometimes questionable. Animals obtained from such ‘random sources,’ who were once members of a family, often suffer from abuse and neglect when placed in dealer facilities devoid of attention and enrichment.

Class A dealers purposely breed animals for use in experimentation. Animals bred in this type of environment are the epitome of animals ‘manufactured’ as research tools, given little acknowledgement as thinking, feeling beings and instead considered tools of study.
What You Can Do:
1. Purchase products that are truly cruelty-free (those containing the Leaping Bunny logo, www.leapingbunny.org).

2. Urge your representatives to reverse the Helms Amendment, which excludes birds, rats, and mice bred for research from the definition of "animal" under the Animal Welfare Act.

3. Urge your representatives to support the Pet Safety and Protection Act. This proposed federal legislation would ban random source Class B dealers, who acquire pets from shelters and other sources and sell them for research. 

4. Support organizations like the American Anti-Vivisection Society (www.aavs.org), which promotes and funds the development of non-animal testing alternatives and education programs, and lobbies against genetically-engineered animals and on behalf of creatures who are sold or born into the inhumane world of animal testing.

5. Become more aware of what's going on in U.S. laboratories and college research departments. Check out HBO's documentary "Dealing Dogs" or other free video clips at:

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