friendly, larger print version
58 million reasons why vivisection should stop
Dec 17, 2008
Dr Katy Taylor and colleagues from the BUAV and Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane
Research very recently published the most accurate estimate of global
laboratory animal use, to date (1). They estimated that 58,339,972 living non-human
vertebrates were subjected to fundamental or medically-applied biomedical
research, toxicity testing, or educational use, in 179 countries (including all
with a human population > 200,000), in 2005. Taylor and colleagues also
provided an extremely useful ranking table estimating laboratory animal use figures
in most of these countries. The largest users were the US, followed by Japan
and Great Britain.
By using weighted means to average data from countries where it existed, I've
just published an estimate that 68,607,807 additional animals may have been
killed for the provision of experimental tissues, used to maintain
established genetically- By using weighted means to average data from countries where it
existed, I've just published an estimate that 68,607,807 additional animals
may have been killed for the provision of experimental tissues, used to
maintain established genetically-
Further details of these studies are available at:
(http://www.animalex periments. info/studies/ animal_use_ worldwide_ 2005.htm)
To date, these remain the most accurate estimations of global laboratory
animal use, significantly updating previous estimations which have been based on
variable expert opinions, or very limited surveys.
Despite their magnitude, it appears likely that these estimates remain
highly conservative. As identified by Taylor and colleagues, for example, their
estimate of 17.3 million living vertebrates used within the US is very
significantly less than a 2000 US Animal Plant Health Inspection Service estimate of
31156 million, based on extrapolation from the results of a survey of only 50
of 2,000 research institutions (3). Furthermore, these estimates exclude
several other categories of concern, such as some invertebrate species now
understood to have advanced capacity for suffering, including certain cephalopods,
and studies on advanced fetal developmental stages.
I hope this information will be useful to those working on animal
Animal Consultants International
1. Taylor, K., Gordon, N., Langley, G. & Higgins, W. (2008). Estimates for
worldwide laboratory animal use in 2005. ATLA 36, 327342.
2. Knight A. 127 million non-human vertebrates used worldwide for scientific
purposes in 2005. ATLA: Alternatives to Laboratory Animals 2008; 36(5):
3. USDA (2000). Rats, mice and birds database: researchers, breeders,
transporters, and exhibitors. A database prepared by the federal Research Division,
Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the United States
Department of Agri cultures Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, August
2000. Washington, DC, USA: United States Department of Agriculture: Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service. Available at:
'the best guess for the correlation of adverse reactions in man and animal
toxicity data is somewhere between 5% and 25%'
Animal Toxicity Studies: Their Relevance to Man, Lumley and Walker (eds)
(Quay, 1989), 57-67
Why vivisection needs to end
http://blogs. usatoday. com/oped/ 2008/12/opposing -view-1.html
15 December 2008.
Opposing view: Replace animal experiments. Testing on animals
is not only cruel, its benefit for humans is doubtful.
By John J. Pippin
There are many things wrong with the use of intimidation and
violence in the critical debate over animal research. In
addition to being anathema in our society, such tactics
obscure important issues regarding animal experiments and
I am a cardiologist and a former animal researcher. I stopped
experimenting on animals after I came to doubt the medical
value of such research. Today, a growing number of physicians,
scientists and scientific agencies believe that moving to
non-animal research and testing methods is critical to
advancing human health.
Numerous reports confirm very poor correlations between animal
research results and human results, and the research
breakthroughs so optimistically reported in the media almost
always fail in humans.
Examples abound. Every one of 197 human trials using 85
HIV/AIDS vaccines tested in animals has failed. More than 150
human stroke trials using treatments successful in animals
have failed, as have at least two dozen animal diabetes cures.
Vioxx was tested successfully in eight studies using six
animal species, yet this anti-inflammatory medication may have
caused the deaths of more Americans than the Vietnam War.
The monoclonal antibody TGN1412 was safe in monkeys at 500
times the dose tested in humans, yet all six British
volunteers who received the drug in 2006 nearly died.
Conversely, simple aspirin produces birth defects in at least
seven animal species, yet is safe in human pregnancy. When
even identical human twins have different disease
susceptibilities, how can we think answers will be found in
mice or monkeys?
The National Cancer Institute now uses panels of human cells
and tissues to test treatments for cancer and HIV/AIDS, and to
detect drug toxicities. And the National Research Council now
recommends replacing animal toxicity testing with in vitro
I can attest that animal research is inherently cruel. Animal
protection laws do not mitigate this reality. Whether the
debate involves humane issues or human benefits, the evidence
confirms the need to replace animal experiments with more
accurate human-specific methods. That's the best way to make
progress and improve health.
John J. Pippin is a senior medical and research adviser with
the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
"Tests on animals have led to around 100 drugs being thought potentially
useful for stroke; not one has proved effective in humans. You don't need to
be a balaclava-wearing animal rights activist to question the value of
animal studies in this area of medical research."
TheFirstPost. 25 January 2007.