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AnimalearnThe American Anti-Vivisection Society

Collection Information

To estimate the use of dogs and cats in higher education in the U.S., we queried all the public colleges and universities14 located within a sample of 24 states (175 institutions total)15,16., Many of these schools also have veterinary and medical colleges, which were included in our analysis. We selected a sample of states that represent the nine geographical regions17 of the United States (See Appendix A Fig. 1). Although we did not review IACUC records for all relevant colleges, universities, and other institutions in the U.S., our sample of 175 locations is both broad and diverse. The procurement and use of dogs and cats for educational purposes in other colleges and universities not included in our sample would likely be similar.

Data on the use and source of dogs and cats for teaching purposes at the 175 public colleges and universities located within our sample were acquired via three methods:

1. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) public records:
Animalearn submitted requests under state open records laws to the IACUCs of the 175 institutions for information identifying the source from which dogs and cats were purchased or acquired, and information on the number and type of dogs and cats purchased or acquired for teaching purposes from 2005-200718. Of the requests sent, 92 responses were obtained upon the release of the report.

2. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection reports and license renewal applications:
Animalearn submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the USDA for licensed Class A dealers19, random source Class B dealers20, and biological supply companies21 to obtain information on sales of dogs and cats and records of regulatory violations.

3. Surveys of university and college biology departments:
Animalearn surveyed 150 biology departments from the 175 institutions22 regarding their use of live and/or dead dogs and cats, how they are used, and whether or not students are permitted to use alternatives in lieu of traditional animal dissections and laboratory experiments. Response rate to this survey was 20%. Animalearn made several follow-up efforts with respondents to ensure accuracy of the information.

14Public colleges and universities with IACUC committees were selected because these schools’ records are open to public review and records on the acquisition and use of dogs and cats in education must be maintained.
15Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin were selected.
16Animalearn later requested IACUC records from the University of Georgia in order to assist in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s interest in phasing out terminal dog surgeries.
17New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, East North Central, West North Central, West South Central, Mountain, and Pacific.
18Although Animalearn is interested in replacing all types of animals used in education, the report focuses on dogs and cats used in teaching primarily because of the specific recordkeeping requirements for these animals that must be maintained by research facilities. See 9 C.F.R. § 2.35 (b).
19See infra pg. 35 (defining Class A dealers)
20See infra pg. 23 (defining Class B random source dealers)
21See infra pg. 30 (defining Biological supply companies)
22All biology departments from the 175 institutions for which we could assess that they instructed undergraduates on issues of mammalian biology were surveyed.
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