Congress now has opportunity to help end suffering of animals in US laboratories
Posted By Cat on 15th July 2020
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The United States Congress has begun considering its annual appropriations legislation that will fund the government for the upcoming year starting on October 1, 2020.
With it comes an opportunity to help end suffering of animals in laboratories funded by the government.
This week the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee released the Fiscal Year 2021 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriation Bill (LHHS Bill) to fund relevant agencies. The bill includes important language pushing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to prioritize use of non-animal research methods in NIH-funded research, which could save thousands of animals from suffering in cruel and outdated experiments.
The language included in the bill echoes the directives laid out in the HEARTS ACT (Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences Act) which we have been campaigning for over the past months.
Specifically the Appropriations Bill says, “Humane Research Alternatives.—Recognizing that humane, cost effective, and scientifically suitable non-animal methods are available but underutilized, the Committee requests that NIH assemble a panel to investigate and make recommendations regarding incentives for more quickly and effectively moving NIH intramural and external research away from methods that rely on animals to methods that rely on non-animal alternatives.The panel should review and recommend means of encouraging greater reliance on existing humane and scientifically satisfactory non-animal methods. Panel membership should include individuals with proven knowledge of/experience with non-animal research methods; with expertise in evaluating the adequacy of searches for non-animal methods described in research proposals; and with knowledge of the welfare concerns and scientific limitations of animal based studies. The Committee asks that NIH provide a report of the panel’s findings by June 2022.”Monica Engebretson, our Head of Public Affairs for North America, said: “We thank Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard for her role in ensuring that this important issue was included in the appropriations bill and for her continued leadership in pushing the NIH to ensure that humane, human-relevant, non-animal methods are supported, developed and utilized at every opportunity. “This is something that nearly everyone can support. In fact, our recent poll shows that the majority of US voters, regardless of political affiliation, agrees that non-animal tests should be the funding priority for the NIH.”