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Federal: Demand More Accountability and a Reduction in the Use of Nonhuman Primates

Federal: Demand More Accountability and a Reduction in the Use of Nonhuman Primates

Name: Reintroduction of the Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act

Last year, Senator Cory Booker introduced the Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act, S 3773, which would have required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to convene a standing committee to assess proposals for new nonhuman primate research.

This newly-created standing committee would be barred from approving any nonhuman primate research unless:

  • the research is for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of debilitating or life-threatening clinical conditions in human beings;
  • no alternative research method exists; and
  • the nonhuman primates will be housed in an ethologically appropriate environment.

 

In addition, the bill would require the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a systematic review of all nonhuman primate research in every field for which they are used to determine whether the use of nonhuman primates in that field has advanced research and whether it has resulted in benefits to human health.

The number of nonhuman primates used for research has escalated sharply, from 57,735 in 2014 to 75,825 in 2017, the most recent year for which numbers are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is largest recorded use of nonhuman primates in more than 45 years.

Currently, researchers are using nonhuman primates for a myriad of different research and testing purposes, regardless of whether there is evidence that they are an effective model or if they are even necessary for the purpose of the research. There are many alternatives to nonhuman primate research currently in use, with the potential for being more predictive of human health, such as organs-on-chips technology and computer modeling.

The establishment of similar criteria for chimpanzees resulted in the ultimate end to their use for all invasive research. Applying better criteria to the use of all nonhuman primates would at the very least significantly reduced the use of these animals, while improving their welfare while in the laboratory.

Please ask your U.S. Senators to consider sponsoring the Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act for consideration this session.

 

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to sponsor the Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

 

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  • Your Senators

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Please support accountability and a reduction in the use of nonhuman primates for research

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to support the reintroduction of last session's Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act (S 3773), which would create a standing committee to assess new proposals to conduct research on nonhuman primates.

Since 2014, there has been a sharp escalation in the number of nonhuman primates used for research and testing--with more than 75,000 primates reported used in 2017 (1,800 animals more than in 2014). This is the highest number of nonhuman primates in use since 1973 and the number is expected to continue to grow.

There have been numerous high-profile research studies involving nonhuman primates, both in private and government facilities, that raise serious concerns about animal welfare, government waste and the scientific validity of these studies. Nonhuman primate research is very often not effective in leading to treatments for humans, as demonstrated by high failure rates for new drugs and the non-reproducibility of preclinical research results.

Currently, researchers are using nonhuman primates for an array of different research and testing purposes, regardless of there is evidence that they are an effective model or if they are even necessary for the research purpose. This legislation would ensure that nonhuman primates would only be used in research to fulfill an important public health objective--and if no alternative research method exists. There are many alternatives to nonhuman primate research currently in use, with the potential for being more predictive of human health, such as organs-on-chips technology and computer modeling.

Please consider introducing or becoming a sponsor of the Primate Protection and Research Modernization Act this year. It is important for both the welfare of nonhuman primates, whose psychological needs are not being adequately met, and for the promotion of the best available science to protect human health objectives.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]