Even in the United States, cruel methods of animal testing are used for preliminary trials of many products we use on our bodies. In the fiscal year ending in 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a total of 1,177,566 primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and other species used for research. The breakdown by species was: 66,610 dogs, 57,531 primates, 58,598 pigs, 245,786 rabbits, 22,921 cats, 176,988 hamsters, 32,260 sheep, 64,146 other farm animals, 221,286 guinea pigs and 231,440 other animals.
It seems shocking that such a barbaric practice is happening to the same animals which are in our homes and farms which we often have companion relationships with. Even the family dog the Beagle is subjected to chemical and medical testing and are chosen for the specific reason that they remain friendly and docile even when pushed to the extreme. Luckily, there are organizations across the country who are working to offer an alternative exit strategy to death.
As you may notice, the statistics in this chart show an increase in animals in research from the previous statistics in 2005. Regardless of the advocacy work being done to educate about the inhumane practice, more of it is being performed. The only respite these animals have is either death or to be taken in by animal rescue and sanctuary organizations. Because of the subject being such a hot topic, these organizations have strict non-disclosure agreements with the companies/universities which these animals come from. So there are two sides of the divide, those doing advocacy and those doing rehabilitation– both of equal importance.
As these issues are brought to the publics attention, more and more companies are responding with refusal to use chemicals that are tested on animals. Instead of focusing on the gorey details– there are plenty of people who do that– we’re here to support the organizations, who are agents of change in rehabilitating these animals.
Located in Elsinore, California, the New Life Animal Sanctuary operates under the motto “Life After Labs” and provides a permanent home pigs, cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, mice, and other animals in need. Approaching rescue from the “It Takes a Village” perspective, NLAS is constantly looking for new leads for contacts at universities and laboratories to assist in live release of their animals. You can contact them here if you know someone or here if you want to purchase “gifts-in-kind” from their Amazon Wishlist.