Animals Used in Research
The USDA reported in 2010 that 1,134,693 animals were used in research protocols, not counting rats, mice, and birds, which are not covered under the Animal Welfare Act. Many of these animals, despite limited protection from the Animal Welfare Act, are not given anesthetic, analgesic, or tranquilizer drugs even during painful procedures if the scientists believe it will have an effect on the procedure results or data interpretation. These lab animals live their lives in artificially controlled environments, housed in a manner for the convenience of caretakers, rarely able to exhibit behavior as nature intended. In many instances, animals are killed when an experiment is completed so that their tissues can be harvested and examined.
Living, breathing, sentient creatures with personalities and emotional lives are treated as sources of data. In an effort to “put a face” on the statistics, we have listed some of the ways that animals are used in science.