There are several steps that you can take to help you determine whether experiments on animals are being conducted in your city, at your college, at a company whose products you purchase, or at your alma mater:
1. Institutions that experiment on animals other than mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals (these animals are specifically excluded from coverage under the Animal Welfare Act) must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You can use the USDA website to find out if any facilities near you are registered to experiment on animals, how many animals (excluding mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals) the laboratory confines, and if it has been cited for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
2. All institutions that receive federal grants for animal experiments must be registered with the National Institutes of Health. A list of all the universities and companies that receive taxpayer money for experiments on animals can be found here (click on the state that you want at the top). This list includes facilities experimenting on mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals as well as those using species regulated by the USDA. Keep in mind that only facilities receiving federal funds for experiments on animals will be on this list. A school or other institution may still be experimenting on mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals without being on this list or the one above if the studies are funded by grants from private sources or if the animals are being used in teaching exercises.
3. For facilities that are not on either list, you should check the school’s or company’s website (or Google it if the sites do not have a search feature) to look for evidence of animal experimentation. A company may have an official statement on the subject, or a school might mention animal dissection and classroom physiology experiments on live animals in its online course catalog or syllabi.
4. You might have to do some searching, but in most cases, any college that has a biology department and/or a psychology department will use animals in some way. One clue to animal use is the existence of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), sometimes called by other names, which oversees the use of animals at some facilities.