UPDATE (6/19/19): Following WCW advocacy, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the 2020 NIH spending bill that, among other things, directs the agency to provide a plan for the reduction of its primate testing and the retirement of monkeys. The Senate will consider the legislation this summer.
ORIGINAL POST (5/7/19)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends more tax money to abuse more primates in wasteful experiments than any other federal agency, and it wants to spend even more. But, thanks to WCW, Congressional leaders, and the majority of Americans that oppose this waste and abuse, that’s about to change.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, IJR, Nature and others, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has just passed its 2020 NIH spending bill which includes language (see pages 111-112) directing the NIH to develop a plan and timeline for the reduction and replacement of its primate experiments, and primates’ retirement to sanctuaries. The measure was championed by senior committee member Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) following discussions with WCW and an avalanche of calls and emails to Congress and NIH from over 1 million WCW supporters. For more than two decades, Rep. Roybal-Allard has long been a national leader on efforts to end testing on primates, which earned her WCW’s Waste Warrior Award in 2016.
This opinion piece in @TheHill discusses my new Appropriations language that urges NIH to be more accountable and transparent in phasing out cruel and unnecessary primate testing, and replacing it with modern research alternatives. @AppropsDems https://t.co/cPmDcsKZ5W
— Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (@RepRoybalAllard) May 17, 2019
This is the first time in history that Congress has directed a federal agency to curb all taxpayer-funded primate testing and retire the animals. In 2015, after pressure from Rep. Roybal-Allard and others, the NIH defunded chimpanzee testing after determining it was wasteful and unnecessary, and we’re working to do the same to all NIH primate experiments.
Federal documents analyzed by WCW show that from 2013 to 2018, the NIH’s internal primate use averaged about 7,000 animals each year, including experiments on baboons, marmosets, macaques and other species.
During the same six-year period, the NIH’s abuse of primates in painful testing rose by a troubling 73 percent. Specifically, the number of primates used in painful tests with pain relief rose by 58 percent and NIH’s use of primates in horrific “maximum pain” experiments where no pain relief is provided rose by a disturbing 370 percent.
The NIH recently spent taxpayers’ money on primate experiments including:
For years, WCW has fought to stop all government primate testing most recently ending $5.5 million nicotine addiction tests on primates at the Food and Drug Administration, which prompted lawmakers to urge FDA to curb the practice overall. WCW’s #GiveThemBack campaign has also been pushing all federal labs to adopt out primates and other animals purchased with tax dollars.
Take a moment to write your Congress members and urge them to cut funding for all painful primate testing at the NIH and all other federal agencies.