Primates in Animal Studies
An overview of nonhuman primates living in research facilities in the United States
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA APHIS) posted their Animal Usage Reports by Research Facilities for 2017 in October 2018. Here are the quick and dirty results:
110,194 nonhuman primates
resided in US research facilities in 2017.
That number continues to increase each year.
We parsed the numbers to make them more digestible than the official reports. You can check your state's population of nonhuman primates in research in the chart to the right.
Over 41% of these monkeys are used in painful studies. To be clear, that's 31,201 monkeys that experience painful protocols. Some receive palliative care to help them cope with the pain. Some do not. These monkeys will never leave the lab alive. They are subjected to a life of torture that ends in early death.
Please note the are numbers in these reports represent only those nonhuman primates in research. They do not reflect those in other forms of captivity, such as zoos, entertainment, and private ownership.
The rows highlighted in red indicate the 10 states with the greatest numbers of nonhuman primates living in their research facilities. You can click on the graphic to enlarge it or download the .pdf at the link below the graphic for easier viewing.
Massachusetts, the state in which we are located, continues to house the 3rd largest population of nonhuman primates in the United States with 12,662 monkeys living in our research facilities. These numbers continue to increase year over year.
#1 on the list is Maryland with 14,117 primates and Louisiana holds second place with 12,970.
How the reports are categorized
Each USDA-registered research facility is required by the Animal Welfare Act to submit an Annual Report that documents its use of animals for research, testing, teaching and/or experimentation. Thus it is essentially self-monitoring. As a result, the numbers reported may not be all inclusive as some research facilities might not have reported in time for publication. The USDA APHIS reports can be found here. Scroll down to Animal Usage by Research Facilities, by Year.
USDA Animal Care compiles these numbers and produces 5 reports annually. Each report is based on a specific pain category, designated by a particular column on the Annual Report. The report categories are:
110,194 monkeys and apes. (Although no longer in use, not all chimpanzee have yet been released from research facilities to sanctuaries)
Now, for the complete picture about animals in research, keep reading...
Animals Used in Research in the US
2017 Research Animals
Now add 26,213 "other farm animals."
PLUS add 156,805 animals categorized as "all other covered species."
This total - 932,954 individuals - may only represent 10% (or less) of the actual number of animals in research facilities for the year.
See "What is NOT covered in the reports" to learn about the many species not reflected in these reports.