WCW to CDC: Retire Lab Survivors. #GiveThemBack to Taxpayers!

Posted by Amanda Nieves
25 May 2022 | #GiveThemBack, Blog

White Coat Waste Project (WCW) has been leading the charge to end taxpayer-funded animal experiments in government labs and retire the survivors. We were deeply dismayed that most federal agencies did not allow taxpayers to adopt animals when their experiments came to an end, so WCW launched the first national campaign to make retirement a requirement. It’s a simple proposition: taxpayers bought the animals, so Uncle Sam should #GiveThemBack! 

Our campaign has been wildly successful. In 2018, we successfully pushed the white coats at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make lab animal retirement an option. In 2019, the National Institutes of Health followed suit. And in 2020, we convinced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  to enact a lab animal retirement policy (after securing the first-ever retirement to a sanctuary for FDA primates).

But despite our successes in various departments and agencies, one has always been particularly truculent: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly known as the CDC. Today, we are redoubling our efforts to get CDC white coats to #GiveThemBack — and make the CDC retire and release its lab survivors.

The CDC has always been a bad apple.


Newly-released documents obtained by WCW show that last year the CDC conducted painful taxpayer-funded experiments on thousands of rabbits, primates, ferrets, and other animals, including tests on guinea pigs and hamsters where pain relief is completely withheld.

Alarmingly, the CDC’s 2021 animal use report shows that their taxpayer-funded white coats have started conducting painful experiments on cats again — after years of not doing so. (Hundreds of dogs and cats are being used in non-painful CDC studies, too).

Retire Lab Survivors

Retire Lab SurvivorsWe don’t yet know details about what experiments the CDC has been conducting on cats, but have submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out. We also don’t know what will happen to the animals when the experiments conclude, because the CDC is one of the few agencies left that doesn’t have an official lab animal retirement policy…even though we’ve been urging them to create one since 2018.

Since then, over 1.3 million WCW supporters have called on the CDC to create a lab animal retirement policy. In 2020, they told Congress that they were considering one, but since then, they’ve apparently done nothing.

Retire Lab Survivors

It’s time to stop letting agencies drag their feet. Violet’s Law, also known as the AFTER Act, would require the CDC (and ALL other federal agencies!) to create a retirement policy for lab animals in their care. This bipartisan, bicameral bill was introduced in the House by Waste Warriors Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), and in the Senate by Gary Peters (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

We need your help to get this bill over the finish line and onto President Biden’s desk. Contact Congress, and tell them to pass Violet’s Law today!

Blog Comments

Retire all research animals now. Humans have lost their humanity.

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