Special Report:

Introduction

Primates by the numbers: the use and importation of nonhuman primates for research and testing in the united states

People connect with other primates. They are charismatic animals with whom we share many traits and feel a kinship. It is similar to our connection with companion animals such as cats and dogs, but sometimes more profound due to their uncanny resemblance. As a result, nonhuman primates' welfare is generally more highly regarded than animals such as mice or rats, and they are considered to have unique requirements due to their levels of intelligence and sentience (not to mention their genetic relatedness to people). Despite these perceptions, a decline in their use in experiments in the European Union, and a general decline in the use of other favored animals like cats and dogs in the U.S., the use of nonhuman primates in laboratory experiments in the United States has increased over the last decade. It is now at a record high since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began publishing these data in 1973.

Similarly, the importation of nonhuman primates into the U.S. has grown steadily over the past decade. Monkeys intended for use in biomedical research and testing experiments and/or breeding for use in experiments are the majority of the nonhuman primates imported into our country.1 Fortunately, compared to more recent years, the number of nonhuman primates imported to the U.S. slightly decreased in 2010.

Using original data obtained from federal agencies through Freedom of Information Act requests, this Special Report will examine trends in the use and importation of nonhuman primates in the United States.

Continue Reading» 1. Importation data include nonhuman primates imported for zoos and other exhibition. However, the majority of them are imported for use in or breeding for biomedical research and testing.
Ending the Use of Animals in Science