Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) reintroduced the Humane Research and Testing Act (H.R. 1744) to "amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of the National Center for Alternatives to Animals in Research and Testing, and for other purposes." NABR is strongly encouraging members to use our take action tool to oppose this bill!
H.R. 1744 is identical to the Humane Research and Testing Act of 2020 (H.R. 8633), which NABR opposed, filed at the end of last Congress. This bill is being supported by the Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experimentation (CAARE), an animal rights organization that claims to be dedicated to educating "the public, media, legislators and scientists about strategies to reduce and replace animal research." CAARE has various campaigns targeting Quincy Bioscience, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), among others.
Representatives Hastings and Buchanan have both been animal rights advocates for many years. According to Humane Society Legislative Fund's (HSLF) scorecard, Reps. Hastings boasts a 100+ rating and Rep. Buchanan a 100 rating. "I don't agree [animal research is necessary]. And I think most people would side with me," Buchanan said during a Sunday Morning News broadcast on April 2, 2017.
Although the H.R. 1744 bill text is not yet available on Congress.gov, the Humane Research and Testing Act of 2020 bill text is available. This bill would create a new National Center for Alternatives to Animals in Research under the NIH, despite the fact that National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) already exists. The bills would also mandate more reporting to Congress on the types and numbers of animals involved in research. Most shocking is the following statement in the bill:
"There is widespread agreement among scientists and regulatory agencies that animal models are poor predictors of the human response, with over 90 percent of new candidate drugs never making it to market.
More than 30 percent of promising medications have failed in human clinical trials because they are found to be toxic despite promising pre-clinical studies in animal models. An additional 65 percent of candidate drugs that pass animal trials fail due to lack of efficacy."
This premise shows a fundamental lack of understanding in the scientific process by the congressional offices sponsoring these bills. Yet CAARE states these bills have the endorsement of the Jane Goodall Institute, Cruelty Free International, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Donald Ingber MD, Ph.D. More recently, Vanda Pharmaceuticals lost a legal dispute with FDA over what Vanda reported as "unnecessary animal research" in regard to FDA's request to show canine safety data for the drug tradipitant.
The American biomedical research community supports valid and effective animal alternatives. However, these bills appear to create a ready-made animal rights targeting lists through further mandatory reporting and are aimed at eliminating animal models rather than helping the research community validate truly effective alternatives.
NABR is encouraging members to reach out to their U.S. representatives to oppose this bill. Use our quick take-action link here: https://www.nabr.org/take-action/oppose-humane-research-and-testing-act-2021