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US health bill includes Humane Research Alternatives Panel

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This week the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations approved the 2022 Labor Health and Human Services funding bill that includes language backed by us tasking the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with assembling a Humane Research Alternatives Panel.

The Panel will ensure increased reliance on human-relevant non-animal research methods. Its membership will include individuals with proven knowledge and experience of non-animal research methods. The bill states:

Recognizing that humane, cost-effective, and scientifically suitable non-animal methods are available but underutilized, the Committee requests that NIH assemble a panel to investigate and make recommendations regarding incentives for more quickly and effectively moving NIH research away from methods that rely on animals to methods that rely on non-animal methods including epidemiological and clinical studies, cell-based methods, computer modeling and simulation, and human tissue studies. 

“The panel should review and recommend means of encouraging greater reliance on human-relevant non-animal methods and approaches.”

Monica Engebretson, our Head of Public Affairs in North America, says: “We are grateful for the leadership of Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and the entire Committee for supporting this move. The next step is for the Senate to approve the panel in their version of the FY22 Labor Health and Human Services bill when they consider it in the next couple of weeks.”

The decision is inspired by the Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research Sciences [HEARTS] Act supported by us, which was recently re-introduced by Rep.Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep.Ken Calvert (R-CA) and to prioritizes the use of non-animal research methods in tax-payer funded research.

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