The USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS) has overseen the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) for over 40 years. APHIS currently posts online the AWA Annual Report of Research Facility and AWA Inspection Reports, to allow public knowledge of animal use at research institutions. The site allows searching for this information easily with a link in the “I Want To…” section. From here you can view reports, link to the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act and their associated regulations. This is also the area where you can submit your facilities annual reports.
To view AWA Inspection reports, click on the “View AWA Inspection Reports”, which will bring you to the Animal Care Information System Search Tool (ACIS Search Tool). Here you can use the Basic or Advanced search tool bar to look up institutions by Name, Customer Numbers, USDA Certificate Number, or Licensee/Registrant Address, or several other criteria. In addition, there is an FAQ and a tab regarding Visitor Statistics. After entering in an institution name, a grid displays licensee information with names, addresses and certificate status, date, and number. Inspection information is available with dates, and a brief description and count of any deficiencies found by inspectors.
From the search results, it is possible to view Research Annual Report (RAR) information, which details animal use by counts of USDA regulated species (most research animals are regulated by the USDA except mice (Mus) and rats (Rattus)) that are involved in procedures that may involve pain or stress. The total facility counts of all animals by species by pain category (B, C, D, E) are listed. The actual RAR can be viewed from the print icon near the pain category listing. To see a list of all RAR’s from each state by year, use the View Research Annual Reports link from the Animal Welfare section of the APHIS site. Also available here are statistics in the “Animals Used in Research” section, which counts all species in all states and totals their reported usage. During 2010 (the last fiscal year for complied data), there were 1,134,693 USDA regulated animals used in the US. The most used animals were guinea pigs (213,029), and the least used were marine mammals (126).