For years, White Coat Waste Project (WCW) has been pushing federal departments and agencies to retire animals when their experiments conclude. (After all, taxpayers paid for the animals, so Uncle Sam should #GiveThemBack)! Although we’ve had resounding successes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), white coats at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have dragged their feet, failing to enact a policy allowing taxpayers to adopt animals from USDA labs.
That may soon change, however. In this year’s Agriculture-FDA spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee included important WCW-backed language, pushing the USDA to implement an adoption/retirement program — and pronto.
Notice how it says “continues to be interested”? That’s because last year, following WCW’s #GiveThemBack campaign, Congress directed USDA to create a retirement program. Nothing bothers Congress more than being ignored for a whole year, so we expect further pressure on USDA to mount from Capitol Hill.
This year’s government spending bill also takes steps to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration curbs primate testing and retires its primates to sanctuaries (which it did, for the first time in agency history, after WCW shut down its wasteful and unnecessary nicotine tests on baby monkeys). Now it’s only a few steps away from being codified into law:
We’re grateful to FDA-Ag Appropriations Chairman (and WCW Waste Warrior!) Sanford Bishop (D-GA) for his ongoing leadership on this issue. Congresswoman, Waste Warrior, and longtime WCW ally Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) also championed this effort and spoke to the Appropriations Committee about the need to reduce primate experiments:
“It is time for our country to move away from the cruel and often unnecessary tradition of primate research.”
— White Coat Waste Project 🥼🗑️ (@WhiteCoatWaste) June 23, 2022
We couldn’t agree more strongly.
Even though this bill still needs to be voted on by the House and Senate, then signed into law, we are thrilled to see widespread, bipartisan congressional support for relocating primates to sanctuaries, and for retiring animals no longer needed in experiments.
This is exactly why the AFTER Act is so critical, too. Also known as Violet’s Law, the bipartisan, bicameral AFTER Act would require ALL federal agencies to create a retirement policy for lab animals in their care.
Now is a terrific time to take action! Contact Congress, and tell them to pass Violet’s Law today!