In DepthANIMAL WELFARE

U.S. labs using a record number of monkeys

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Science  09 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6415, pp. 630
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6415.630

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Summary

The number of monkeys used in U.S. biomedical research reached an all-time high last year, according to data released in late September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The uptick—to nearly 76,000 nonhuman primates in 2017—appears to reflect growing demand from scientists who believe nonhuman primates are more useful than other animals, such as mice or dogs, for testing drugs and studying diseases that also strike humans. The increase also comes amidst a surge in funding from the National Institutes of Health, which supports much of the nonhuman primate research in the United States. The figures have surprised and disappointed groups seeking to reduce the use of lab animals. They note the rise comes despite a commitment by the biomedical community to reduce and replace the use of animals in research, as well as growing public opposition to animal research.