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We honor Representative Roybal-Allard and her team with cruelty free achievement awards

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Congresswoman has consistently fought on the side of animals in laboratories

This month, we presented Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to animal protection and humane science.

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard is retiring after representing California’s 40th District in the House of Representatives for 30 years, and has been one of the foremost advocates for animal protection during her three decades of service, leading congressional efforts to improve the lives of animals through sponsorship of key bills and her position on the Appropriations Committee to advance humane science.

Roybal-Allard's bill, the Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences (HEARTS) Act, would prioritize and incentivize the use of non-animal research methods in research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH currently spends at least $12 billion of taxpayer money on animal experiments every year. The HEARTS Act aims to encourage the use and development of existing and emerging technologies which can improve the cost efficacy of our federal research investment and foster innovation in science, lead to better therapies for human conditions, and spare animals. Learn more about the HEARTS Act here.

We also presented her Health Policy Advisor, Debbie Jessup, with an Outstanding Legislative Staff award for her commitment to cruelty free science. Debbie has worked diligently and passionately alongside Congresswoman Roybal-Allard for many years helping to advance the goals of the HEARTS Act and end the suffering of animals in laboratories.

Monica Engebretson, our Head of Public Affairs North America, said, “Congresswoman Roybal-Allard has been a tireless advocate for ending the suffering of animals in laboratories. We thank her for her commitment to animal welfare and support for our work. We wish her well and hope that she enjoys a long and happy retirement.”

“We also thank Debbie Jessup for all her guidance and support over the years. Our work simply would not be possible without dedicated legislative staff like Debbie who work largely behind-the-scenes to ensure that animals have a voice in Congress.”

Rep Roybal-Allard said, “Each year, the NIH spends billions of dollars on research that involves the use of animals, despite evidence that shows the return on this investment is often low, the results frequently inaccurate, and the experimentation involves great pain and suffering for the animals. One of the reasons this continues is because our system of scientific grant funding rewards the use of animals in research with funding and prestige. I believe the time is right to counteract these incentives and to ensure that NIH prioritizes the use of existing humane and scientifically valid alternatives in research and testing.  It has been a privilege to work with Cruelty Free International to introduce the HEARTS Act, and I thank them for this truly humbling award.”

You can help advance the HEARTS Act by asking your U.S. Representative to become a cosponsor of the bill.