Last week we told you that somewhere between 25 and 100 million animals are killed in U.S. laboratories after suffering through cruel and unnecessary experiments. But why did we give you such a huge range? Why couldn’t we give you a more precise figure?
It’s because 95% of the animals used in research and testing are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act and the government is not required to report the number of these animals. This means that we have no idea how many birds, mice, rats, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates suffer in labs. And yet, we do know, for example, how many hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits are used. What kind of sense does this make? None. The public has a right to know how many animals—the TRUE number—are suffering and dying in laboratories.
We also told you last week about ICCVAM, a group of 16 government agencies working to end animal testing. While ICCVAM has made some progress toward this goal in recent years, its unclear reporting requirements make it impossible for the public to hold the group accountable and to know whether or not it is making reasonable progress.
But, in 2017, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), the original sponsor of the 2000 ICCVAM Authorization Act, introduced a solution to this transparency problem: the FACT Act. The Fact Act would require ICCVAM to provide a full accounting of ALL animals being used, a condition that is badly needed and long overdue. A recent investigative report, Toxic Testing, by NEAVS and White Coat Waste Project uncovered that at the National Toxicology Program only 1 of 103 upcoming tests uses a non-animal method, and, despite having approved over 70 non-animal tests, only 7 are in use.
This is abysmal progress, to say the least.
The FACT Act would finally create the transparency that the American public deserves, and would also bring us in line with the practices of other developed countries. This legislation also has broad bipartisan and industry support, endorsed by the Personal Care Products Council, Unilever, other industry leaders and by a supermajority of voters, with polls indicating that 75% of Americans want more transparency about government animal tests.
The FACT Act will put the afterburners on when it comes to ending animal testing — government agencies will no longer be able to hide snail’s pace progress behind vague updates and reports. And as you help us ultimately get all animals out of labs we will together be cutting waste, advancing to human-relevant science, and sparing millions of animals from unimaginable suffering.
Help us get the FACT Act signed into law.