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Dr. Jane Goodall joins us in Celebrating the introduction of the HEARTS ACT to advance humane and human-relevant non-animal science in the US

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Show your HEARTS for animals by contacting your US Representative today!

White graphic of dog, octopus, rabbit, monkey and cat on black background with pink heart in centre of body.

Animal experiments break our heart, so this Valentine’s Day we’re celebrating the re-introduction of the bipartisan Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences (HEARTS) Act by Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Ken Calvert (R-CA), legislation that will modernize the National Institutes of Health research investment to prioritize the use and development of humane, and effective alternatives to animals.

We are delighted that Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, has joined us to applaud the re-introduction of the HEARTS Act.

Dr. Goodall said, “There is a growing awareness that animal-based research and methodologies cannot reliably answer the vexing scientific questions that arise in seeking to understand human diseases and their treatments and cures. For the challenges that confront us, we need to focus on humane and human-relevant science. But the current framework provides little incentive and support for researchers to use and develop non-animal methods. The HEARTS Act will modernize the National Institutes of Health to ensure that humane and human-relevant methods are at the heart of its science investment.”

The HEARTS Act directs the NIH to provide incentives to researchers to use non-animal methods and establishes a dedicated centre within the NIH devoted to advancing new alternative methods and developing a plan for reducing the use of animals in federal funded research. In addition, the bill updates the definition of “animal” to include cephalopods (octopuses etc.) to ensure that the basic needs of these intelligent and sensitive animals are considered when used in NIH-funded research.

Congressman Pappas said, “I’m glad to partner with Congressman Calvert on the HEARTS Act, bipartisan legislation that would encourage the development and use of humane, non-animal testing methods in federally funded experiments. Over the years, NIH’s groundbreaking research has greatly improved the lives of Americans and people around the world. To remain a global leader in science, research, and development, we must create frameworks to advance modern methods.”

Congressman Calvert said, “With a growing number of scientifically sound, non-animal testing alternatives, taxpayer-funded research should prioritize alternative methods whenever possible. The HEARTS Act would take another meaningful step in protecting animals from unnecessary use in federally-funded research. This bill is a win for animals and taxpayers alike.”

Monica Engebretson, Head of Public Affairs North America for Cruelty Free International said, “Currently, the NIH spends at least $12 billion a year on animal testing, but research shows that the return on investment is often low, and the results irrelevant because of their inability to accurately predict human reactions. Prioritizing the use of non-animal methods in taxpayer-funded research could improve the cost efficacy of our federal research investment and foster innovation in science which would in turn lead to better therapies for human conditions and save animal lives. Cruelty Free International is grateful for the leadership of Representatives Pappas and Calvert in sponsoring the HEARTS Act and we look forward to working with them as the bill advances though Congress.”

US residents can help advance the HEARTS Act by contacting their US Representative and asking that they become a cosponsor of the bill.