PETA Statement: Baffling Increase of Animals Used in U.S. Laboratories

For Immediate Release:
January 22, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – Please see the following statement from PETA regarding U.S. Department of Agriculture records showing an increase in the number of animals being used in laboratories, despite advances in science:

The country’s animal laboratories are a Flintstones episode in a Jetsons world, and the numbers recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture prove it.

In a time when scientists can accurately simulate human organs on silicon chips and map the whole human DNA on the internet, U.S. laboratories shockingly increased the number of animals held or used in crude experiments to 902,787—up 4% overall from 2017 to 2018. This amounts to nearly 35,000 more animals driven insane from confinement, tortured with horrific surgical procedures or poisoned with toxic chemicals, and left to suffer and die in obsolete experiments that don’t advance human health. That number is partially driven by an obscene 12.2% increase in the number of primates held or used in experiments, which is often accompanied by permanently separating infant monkeys from their mothers.

Today’s lightning-speed world has left U.S. animal laboratories in the Stone Age. While animal experimenters are doing the equivalent of breaking apart rocks, human-relevant research technology has revolutionized biomedical research and ushered in an age of personalized medicine. Whether experimenters just enjoy torturing animals behind closed doors—or they are just stuck in the bureaucratic inertia of business as usual—animals, patients, and taxpayers are the ones paying the price for the failure to modernize the nation’s research enterprise.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind