2) How many primates are research subjects per year?

According to the Fiscal Year 2006 Animal Welfare Enforcement report, 1,012,713 warm-blooded animals were used in research, testing, teaching, or experimentation. This figure does not cover laboratory rats and mice, and farm animals used exclusively in agricultural research. Of these, 62,315 primates (6.15% of the total) were used. Two points should be made. First, the vast majority of animals used in research are laboratory rats and mice. In 1995, researchers at Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy estimated that 14-21 million animals were used in American laboratories in 1992. In 1986, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment reported that that its best estimate was 17-22 million. The difference between the 1.01 million and the estimated 14-22 million numbers mostly reflects rats and mice (and birds). Second, individual animals are 'used' more than once, in most cases. That is, many, if not most, of the 62,315 primates studied in 2006 were probably also studied in 2005, and again in 2007. These numbers refer just to captive animals; unfortunately, there is no estimate available for the number studied in their natural habitat. (Reference: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/publications_and_reports.shtml).

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These FAQs were written by John P. Capitanio, Ph.D., with assistance and updates from the Publications Committee of ASP. Special thanks to Jim Moore, Ph.D., and Phil Tillman, D.V.M.

Approved by the Board of Directors 30 June 1998.