This chapter provides information about trends in the numbers of dogs and cats from Class B dealers used in research, sources of such animals from Class B dealers, challenges in AWA enforcement with respect to Class B dealers, and alternatives to the use of Class B dealers.
According to the USDA, the use of dogs and cats in research has declined significantly over the last 30 years. However, data in Tables 1-1 and 4-1 indicate an increase in the use of all dogs and cats in research between 2006 and 2007. The reasons for this recent increase after more than two decades of decline are not understood. The USDA was unable to provide corollary data of year-by-year numbers of animals from Class B dealers, or if the increase was due to random source animals, purpose-bred animals, or animals used for NIH-funded research. Ten-year averages show a decrease in the use of dogs from 187,464 between 1978 and 1987 to 109,353 between 1988 and 1997, and 69,223 between 1998 and 2007. This represents a reduction of 63.1 percent. A parallel 59.4 percent reduction was observed in the 10-year averages of cats with a decrease from 58,526 between 1978 and 1987 to 34,828 between 1988 and 1997, and 23,737 between 1998 and 2007 (Table 4-1). The use of guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits has fluctuated over this same time period. Only the use of nonhuman primates increased (from 2001 to 2007 by 29%). It is estimated that rats and mice also increased although numbers are not reported for these species (Table 1-1).
Statistics were not maintained by the USDA that discriminated between dogs and cats from Class A and Class B dealers for the last 30-year period; however, data were obtained from the USDA regarding animals from Class B dealers for November 2007 through November 2008 (Figures 4-1a-f). During Fiscal Year 2007 (FY 2008 was not available at the time this report was written), 72,037 dogs and 22,687 cats from all sources were used in research (Table 4-1). Combined dog and cat usage in research totaled 94,724 animals, roughly 9.2% of all species covered by the AWA that were used in research in 2007 (Table 1-1) and were reported to the USDA. For this reporting period, 2,863 Class B dogs (Figure 4-1b) and 276 Class B cats (Figure 4-1c) were sold for research representing only 4% of the dogs and 1.2% of the cats used in research. The combined total of dogs and cats from Class B dealers used in research represents only 3% of the total dogs and cats used in research and 0.3% of all animals reported to the USDA for research purposes.
Taking into account all animals used in research (assuming 90% of these are mice and rats), dogs and cats represent only 0.9% (Table 1-1)