U.S. lab animal use hits record low

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1996:

WASHINGTON D.C.––U.S. laboratory use of five of
the six species whose use has been recorded under the Animal
Welfare Act since it first came into effect in 1973 dropped to new
lows in 1995, according to newly released USDA data:
Species 1995 High
Dogs 89,420 211,104 (1979)
Cats 29,569 74,259 (1974)
Primates 50,206 61,392 (1987)
Guinea pigs 333,379 598,903 (1985)
Hamsters 248,402 503,590 (1976)
Rabbits 354,076 554,385 (1987)

Only primate use did not hit a new low. Primate use
bottomed out early, at just 36,202 in 1975, between years in
which more than 50,000 were used. The next lowest level of primate
use came in 1991, at 42,620. The 1995 figure was the seventh
Farm animal use, only tracked over the past five years,
fell to 163,985 in 1995, also a new low and substantially less than
the 214,759 recorded in 1991.
Total reported animal use in laboratories reached a new
low of 1.4 million, not including rats, mice, birds, reptiles, and
amphibians, who are not protected under the AWA. The new low
is the more remarkable because it came just four years after new
reporting requrements briefly sent total reported use to the 1984-
1985 range, when a previous extension of reporting requirements
brought two years of record reported usage.
Counts of mice, rats, and birds are not kept under the
AWA, but based on figures from the Department of Defense,
Procter & Gamble, Hoffman LaRoche, and other institutions
which do keep and publish tallies of mouse, rat, and bird use, the
sum of tracked species remains close to 10% of total lab use,
which would suggest that total lab use is now circa 14 million.
Newly published Canadian fiscal year 1994 data, compiled
by the Canadian Council of Animal Care from reports by 176
of the 189 Canadian animal-using laboratories, show declines in
the use of primates, dogs, guinea pigs, and mice, whom Canada
does count; use of cats remained at the 1993 level; and use of
rabbits, rats, and fish increased. Total Canadian lab animal use
came to 2.3 million, up by 293,339. Of these, 85.5% were used
in research, 8.7% in testing, and 5.7% in teaching.

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