If you are flat-out opposed to animal testing, you are in good company: this month, a new Pew Research Center report shows that 52% of Americans oppose the use of animals in scientific research.
And with good reason: In addition to concerns about the treatment of lab animals, there is ample evidence that animal testing fails humans. An October 2015 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics article found that 96 percent of drugs which pass preclinical animal tests fail to proceed to the market; and concluded that “the collective harms and costs to humans from animal experimentation outweigh potential benefits.”
And yet, over 100 million animals are subjected to experiments around the world each year. In the U.S., the figure is roughly one million for animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act – primarily guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, primates, dogs, pigs, cats, and sheep – and an estimated 12-27 million total including the mice, rats, birds and other animals who are not covered under the Act and whose numbers are not reported.
Even if you are among those who support animal testing in certain circumstances, you probably agree that humans at least have a duty to protect all of these animals from unnecessary suffering.
As part of its animal rescue focus, the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund supports projects that aim to reduce and ultimately end the suffering of animals in labs. These projects include legislation and litigation to stop cruel and wasteful animal experiments; development of superior non-animal testing methods; and programs to place surviving lab animals in homes and sanctuaries after experimentation is done.
Key organizations and initiatives the Fund supports include:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), launched with the Silver Spring monkeys case, which produced the first U.S. criminal cruelty conviction of an animal experimenter, and the first U.S. Supreme Court victory for lab animals. Since then, PETA has continued to work on many fronts to end animal testing, and has contributed millions of dollars toward the development and implementation of alternatives.
White Coat Waste Project (WCW), which is ending taxpayer-funded animal experiments by joining forces with bipartisan U.S. Congressional coalitions. 2018 victories include stopping a Food and Drug Administration nicotine experiment on squirrel monkeys and a series of Veterans Administration “maximum pain” tests on dogs.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which promotes alternatives to using animals in medical education and research. PCRM’s victories include the Lautenberg Chemical Act, signed by President Obama in 2016, promoting nonanimal methods for assessing chemical toxicity. This month, the PCRM-backed California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act appears headed for Governor Brown to sign into law.
Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, which provides a permanent home in Maryland for over 200 abused and abandoned cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and other animals. In 2018, through Greg Fund sponsorship, a lab agreed to release 70 hens to Poplar Spring and other sanctuaries, instead of killing them after a fertility experiment was complete.
Thank you for supporting the Greg Fund’s vision of a day when no more animals are forced to suffer in laboratories!