While the number of animals used is at about half of what it was in the 1970s, there are still over 1 million Animal Welfare Act covered animals used for testing and research at each year in the U.S. The
Animal Welfare Act – 7 U.S.C. 54 – regulates the care and use of animals used in research, testing, and teaching. It sets forth minimal standards for housing, handling, veterinary care, and feeding of these animals.

However, the AWA has significant limitations. The USDA has authority to inspect and enforce the AWA, it relies heavily on self reporting – with only 115 USDA inspectors to oversee over 7,750 licensed facilities. The AWA provides no protection for cold-blooded animals (reptiles, amphibians, fish) or rats, mice, and birds bred for research. These animals alone make up roughly 90 percent of animals used in laboratories and could push the totals to anywhere from 25 to 100 million annually.


All Animals

The Animal Welfare Act covers dogs, cats, nonhuman primates – chimpanzees and monkeys – guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and other warm-blooded animals.


All States 1,000,727
California 94,788
Ohio 90,536
Mass 84,122
NJ 73,493
Texas 53,226

Which States Use The Most Dogs in Testing?

Which States Use The Most Dogs in Testing?

Despite their status as ‘man’s best friend’, over 65,000 dogs were used in research and testing in 2014. Dogs are often used in toxicology studies, subject to large doses of pharmaceutical, chemical, or pesticide test substance. Dogs are also used in human-disease studies, including heart and hormonal studies. The most common breed of dog used in experiments are beagles due to their smaller size and docile manner.

All States 65,153
Wisconsin 8,178
Ohio 5,359
NJ 5,265
Michigan 5,023

Which States Use The Most Cats in Testing?

Which States Use the Most Cats in Testing?

The darlings of the internet, 22,398 cats were used in experiments in 2014. Most cats used in experiments are bred for research, but many times they are taken from shelters. Cats are often used in research of two specific human disease – HIV and leukemia – that feline analogues exist for. FIV specifically is closely and profoundly related to HIV.

Other testing borders on cruelty. Before it was shut down, the animal testing lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison preformed “sound localization” tests in which holes were drilled into cat’s skulls, electrodes implanted in the brain, and steel coils placed in the eyes. Several other Universities have performed vision experiments in which the cat’s eyes were removed or sewn shut.

All States 22,398
Minnesota 2,935
Ohio 2,060
California 1,793
Missouri 1,774

Which States Use The Most Primates in Testing?

Which States Use the Most Primates in Testing?

Primates are the closest relatives to humans, therefore have been subject to notion that they make better test models than mice and rats for studying human diseases. Non Human Primates account for over 105,000 – over 10 percent- of AWA covered research subjects. Most of these are one of three species of macaques, baboons, marmosets, and other monkeys.
Non Human Primates are used for research in HIV, behavior, neurology, human and infectious diseases, genetics, reproduction, and vaccine and drug testing among others.

The U.S. and the European Union have phased out Chimpanzee testing and they have been classified as “endangered” in the U.S.

All States 105,665
Maryland 16,603
Lousiana 12,410
Washington 9,656
Mass 9,412

Which States Use the Most Pigs in Testing?

Pigs in Testing - By State

All States 50,609
California 6,432
Iowa 3,931
Texas 3,501
Mass 3,165

Which States Use the Most Sheep in Testing?

Sheep in Testing

All States 12,265
Vermont 2,078
California 1,401
Penn 937

Which States Use the Most Rabbits in Testing?

Rabbits in Testing

All States 170,917
California 26,931
Wisconsin 18,558
Mass 18,075
Penn 17,217

Other Farm Animals

Other Farm Animals

All States 33,576
California 10,955
North Car. 4,422
Texas 2,958

Other Covered Species

Other Covered Species

All States 209,310
Ohio 30,770
California 25,244
Texas 20,101
Washington 19,006

No Pain No Drug Testing

Facilities in these states experiment on the most animals without giving them pain medication.

All States 72,311
Missouri 20,437
NJ 8,576
Michigan 8,197
Iowa 7,546

Interestingly, Hamster and Guineas make up 60,427 of 72,311 With Pain No Drug test subjects.



Dogs in Laboratories


The Case for Phasing Out Experiments on Primates

Primates in Laboratories