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Educating Congress about the importance of research with nonhuman animals

Psychologists and allied scientists gathered for a virtual Hill Day to spread the word about the importance of research with nonhuman animals.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, May 6). Educating Congress about the importance of research with nonhuman animals.

On April 29-30, members of APA’s Committee on Animal Research and Ethics, APA’s Div. 6 (Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology), and representatives of Supporting Truth About Animal Research, a coalition of scientific societies, met with 32 House and Senate offices to discuss the importance of research with nonhuman animals. The scientists also asked congressional offices not to support legislation that impedes peer-reviewed research with animal models. 

Basic research with a wide range of animals has been and remains critical to identifying basic mechanisms that underlie healthy physiological and psychological development and functioning. The benefits of basic research are realized over both short and long time spans, with basic discoveries providing the essential fundamental knowledge for breakthroughs in tackling many of the health challenges confronting society, including cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, obesity, substance misuse, mental disorders, Parkinson’s Disease, and stress.

APA opposes legislation that would overemphasize the viability of alternatives to animal research, including: H.R. 197, Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing Act (FACT); H.R. 1744, Humane Research and Testing Act; and H.R. 1905, Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness Act.

These bills are redundant with existing legislation that governs oversight of animal research, which is extensive. These bills would unnecessarily increase regulatory burden and blur the distinction between animal research and animal testing.

Sangeeta Panicker, PhD, director of research ethics in APA’s Science Directorate, coordinated the Hill Day with the APA Advocacy Office.

For more information, contact Pat Kobor.