Almost 800,000 animals were used in research facilities in fiscal 2017, according to the latest data available from the USDA. That includes dogs, cats, sheep, rabbits, pigs and primates, among other animals. It does not include mice or rats, the most common animals used in experiments.
There were more than 41,000 animals used in Maryland facilities that year, including 856 dogs.
The use of animals in research has gained attention in recent years, and use of dogs has been especially controversial because they are so closely associated with humans, animal rights activists say.
Last year, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Beagle Freedom Bill, which requires research labs in the state to make more of an effort to find homes for their adoptable dogs and cats once experiments are complete.
Hopkins already had a program to find adoptable dogs homes, and officials have said hundreds of dogs have been adopted out. University officials also have said labs have been shifting to use more mice and rabbits.
Medical schools, including Hopkins in 2016, have stopped using animals in training, and cosmetic companies have moved away from animal testing. Federal law, however, still requires animal testing of drugs for humans.
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