You are here:

US National Institutes of Health tasked with setting up expert working group on use of non-animal methods

Published on


HEARTS Act crucial to more progress

Last week, United States President Joe Biden signed the 2022 omnibus federal spending bill which includes a measure backed by us to help end animal experiments by prioritizing humane and effective alternatives.

The bill includes funding for federal government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the remainder of the fiscal year 2022.

We have been hard at work since last summer to ensure that this bill includes language to increase reliance on human-relevant non-animal research methods, and that work has finally paid off. The FY22 federal spending bill tasks the NIH with assembling a Humane Research Alternatives Panel, stating: “Recognizing that humane, cost-effective, and scientifically suitable non-animal methods are available for certain research models, the agreement directs NIH to appoint a working group to make recommendations for encouraging the use of non-animal models where appropriate in NIH intramural and extramural research, including epidemiological and clinical studies, cell-based methods, computer modeling and simulation, and human tissue studies,...”

The NIH is now expected to provide a report on the working group’s findings within 180 days.

Our North America Head of Public Affairs, Monica Engebretson said, “The inclusion of a humane alternatives research working group is a promising step forward in our efforts to advance humane science and to move away from funding painful experiments on animals. But there is more work to be done. We need to convince Congress to pass the HEARTS Act (Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences Act) to ensure that researchers actually use the available modern alternatives instead of relying on, and obtaining tax-payer funding for, outdated animal experiments.”  

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.