Animal numbers: US

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Annual Report Animal Usage by Fiscal Year: 2010.
Document link
Other years and individual states

This is the most recent report available. A total of 1,134,693 regulated animals were reportedly used within the US in Fiscal Year 2010.

Animal use categories
  • All
  • with pain and with drugs
  • with pain and no drugs
  • no pain and no drugs
  • animal not yet used

United States laboratory animal use is federally regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (1966, amended 1985), which excludes laboratory-bred mice and rats, as well as non-mammals, from consideration and protection (Goldberg 2002, Stephens et al. 2002), despite the fact that mice and rats comprise the overwhelming majority of all laboratory subjects. These USDA statistics exclude unregulated species, and hence represent a tiny fraction of US laboratory animal use. For example, although 1.0 million regulated animals were used in Fiscal Year 2007, Taylor and colleagues estimated that 17.3 million living non-human vertebrates were used in 2005, making the US the leading global user. Japan was second and China third, using 11.2 and 3.0 million of these animals, respectively. Their calculations based on animal study publication rates provide the most accurate evidence-based estimation to date.

  • Goldberg, A.M. (2002). Use of animals in research: a science--society controversy? The American perspective: animal welfare issues. Altex: Alternatives to Animal Experimentation 19(3), 137-139.
  • Taylor K, Gordon N, Langley G & Higgins W. Estimates for worldwide laboratory animal use in 2005. Altern Lab Anim 2008; 36: 327–342.
  • Stephens, M.L., Alvino, G.M. & Branson, J.B. (2002). Animal pain and distress in vaccine testing in the United States. Developments in biologicals 111, 213-216.

Kulpa-Eddy J, Snyder M & Stokes W. A review of trends in animal use in the United States (1972 – 2006). AATEX 2008; 14(Spl. Issue): 163-5.
Journal link.

In the United States, research facilities have been required to report information on the numbers of animals used since 1972. These numbers include animals used for experimentation, teaching and testing purposes. This session will present data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Care, that show the numbers of animals reported has decreased by almost one-third during this time period. It will include a discussion of the trends noted and provide possible explanations; for example: regulatory changes, developments in research and the implementation of alternative methods.