Recent disturbing reports of painful and inhumane experiments on beagles funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have highlighted the cruelty inherent in animal experiments and the need to replace animals in research.
As your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor The Humane Research and Testing Act of 2021 (H.R. 1744) introduced by Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).
This bipartisan bill will take crucial steps towards reducing and replacing animal experimentation by establishing the National Center for Alternatives to Animals in Research and Testing under the NIH to fund and promote scientifically superior methods to replace animals.
The bill also requires federally funded researchers to disclose numbers of all animals used in experiments – something that is not currently being done – so that progress at reducing those numbers can be effectively planned and measured.
NIH was mandated to reduce animal testing in 1993 under the NIH Revitalization Act (Public Law 103-43) but unfortunately, little progress has been made. H.R. 1744 will amend the Revitalization Act, requiring the NIH to incentivize, fund and develop non-animal methods of research.
Increasingly, experts in science, medicine, academia and government recognize that animals are poor predictors for human biology. Less than 10% of new drugs and treatments that test successfully in animals benefit human patients, amounting to lost opportunities for vital cures and billions of dollars each year. One analysis from 2015 reported that over $28 billion is spent on preclinical research every year, the vast majority of which is conducted using animals.
Science has advanced immensely in the last few decades and there are now multiple innovative technologies that can be used carry out biomedical research more accurately than using animals. I urge you to co-sponsor the Humane Research and Testing Act to advance science and medicine without harming animals. I look forward to your reply.