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Animals in Research and Education

Rats, rabbits, dogs, and other animals suffer when used for testing.

Each year in the United States, more than 25 million animals are tortured and killed in the name of science. Animals used for research and in education are bred specifically for that purpose. An estimated 6 million animals are dissected in school science classes yearly. Include all the animals used in experiments at science fairs, in after-school science clubs, and in 4-H projects, among other animal-related science projects and the number continues upward. In some states, student choice laws have been enacted.

Animals Used in Research Animals Used in Classrooms

  • Rats and Mice
  • Fetal Pigs
  • Bats
  • Guinea Pigs, Rabbits and Hampsters
  • Cats and Dogs
  • Birds
  • Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles
  • Primates

Animal Dealers

  • Class A dealers breed animals specifically for research.
  • Class B dealers obtain animals from breeders, shelters, auctions, newspapers, or are stolen pets.
  • Both class A and class B dealers are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Minnesota and Oklahoma are the only two states in the United States that have mandatory pound seizure laws, requiring shelters to surrender healthy, adoptable animals to research facilities.

Alternatives to Live Animal Use
Animal testing is an unnecessary cruelty with the number of humane alternatives available to scientists and educators today. Research based on animals has been repeatedly proven to be unreliable. Some humane alternatives include:

  • Simulators and Artificial models
  • Cadavers
  • Interactive videos and computer programs

Take Action to Help Animals in Research & the Classroom

  • Educate your family and friends on the dangers companion animals face if they are given to some shelters or to strangers.
  • Write to the USDA urging them to monitor closely the source of animals used in research facilities.
  • Contact universities and colleges using animals to practice surgical and medical procedures and urge them to adopt alternatives
  • If you are a student, contact your instructor well before a class that involves animal dissection and explain orally and in writing why you object to using animals in experiments.
  • Contact your legislators urging them to pass legislation that grants students the option to choose alternatives to classroom dissection.
  • Consider making arrangements to donate all or part of your body and for medical teaching after your death.
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