Overall summary, including evidence from systematic reviews
A paper from my presentation at the 8th World Congress on Alternatives & Animal Use in the Life Sciences, Montreal, 2011. Discusses the human benefits and animal impacts resulting from invasive animal research, the UK Bateson Review of Research Using Non-Human Primates, and also suggests policy reforms likely to result in a more accurate weighing of the human benefits and animal costs of invasive animal research.
In 2008, Taylor and colleagues provided the most accurate estimate of worldwide laboratory animal use provided to date. 58,339,972 living non-human vertebrates were subjected to fundamental or medically applied biomedical research, toxicity testing, or educational use in 2005. This letter updates that estimate. The inclusion of animals killed for the provision of experimental tissues, used to maintain established GM strains, or bred for laboratory use but killed as surplus to requirements, increased the grand total to 126,947,779 animals used worldwide in 2005. Due to a number of limitations, however, these estimates remain far from precise. There are also significant indications they are overly conservative.