An animal rights group ranks New York, Iowa and Maryland as the states whose research labs inflict the most pain on animals.

Stop Animal Expolitation Now (SAEN) said its list is incomplete because labs routinely lie to regulators about what goes on behind closed doors.

"Supposedly reputable facilities are simply lying to both the federal government and the American people," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director of SAEN. "Experiments which subject animals to extreme confinement, electric shocks or severe hunger and thirst are often not counted as causing pain or distress."

Based on USDA information for unrelieved pain in experimental animals, here is the ranking and the number of animals who were caused pain in labs:

  • 1. NY - 13,174
  • 2. IA - 12,088
  • 3. MD - 7,282
  • 4. MI - 6,065
  • 5. GA - 5,441
  • 6. TX - 3,482
  • 7. UT - 2,988
  • 8. MO - 3,211
  • 9. NJ - 2,857
  • 10. MA - 2,510

These statistics are based on the recently-posted USDA Animal Welfare Enforcement Report (AWER), the watchdog group said. They reflect the quantity of animals within the state which were used in painful experiments without pain relievers of any kind.

Tops in other categories:

  • Dogs experiencing pain, NJ - 344;
  • Cats experiencing pain, IA - 190;
  • Monkeys, MD - 228.

However, according to SAEN, statistics on animals used in painful experimentation are seriously flawed. Research labs that routinely deprive animals of basic necessities of food and/or water, or apply electric shock or severe confinement typically do not consider these projects to cause pain.

It's all part of a growing trend of deceptive reporting, said SAEN.

Violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) which regulates how labs conduct and report experiments) by laboratories increased by 18.4 percent in one year, and a whopping 90 percent in the last five years - even though AWER documents that overall animal experimentation decreased by 14 percent in 2006.

Deceptive laboratories include nationally-known facilities like Harvard, University of California, Stanford, Salk Institute, Stanford, Emory, University of Wisconsin, University of Washington, Vanderbilt, and Johns Hopkins, SAEN said.

In some instances projects which actually list symptoms like: fever, weight loss, diarrhea, rash, and pain are not considered by researchers to actually cause pain.

To learn more about the report, visit www.all-creatures.org/saen/.