Farm Animals at a Glance

Farm animals make up less than 0.5% - less than one half of one percent - of animals in biomedical research. Species include dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, and horses. These animals are needed for a variety of studies including neurological research, development and testing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, reconstructive surgery research, and medical education. The most common farm animals studied are pigs and sheep.

Did you Know?

A sheep was one of the first-ever successful blood donors.

‘Bioprosthetic’ heart valves from pigs are transplanted into some of the 60,000 heart valve patients/year

The sheep was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell - Dolly is the world's most famous clone.

Insulin from pigs was needed to treat diabetes until the 1980s

The 1st tissue-engineered whole-organ transplant was performed in 2008 following preclinical studies in pigs.

  • Pig

    The anatomy and function of organ systems in pigs are very similar to that of humans.  Pig and human hearts and their… Read More ›

  • Sheep

    Sheep have a similar physiology to humans, can get many of the same diseases, have a short gestation period, and their young are… Read More ›

  • Horse

    Research with horses is most often part of a One Health initiative where research for both animals and humans advance side by… Read More ›

  • Chicken

    Ovarian cancer is diagnosed in 225,000 women every year, accounting for 4% of all cancers. There are not many signs of early… Read More ›