Picture the dog at your feet, the guinea pigs or mice you had as pets growing up, or the birds at the feeder in your yard. Now imagine 25 million of animals just like these living in small laboratory cages and being deliberately sickened over the course of weeks, months, or even years--and then killed.
The HSUS recognizes that important medical advances (for both humans and animals) have been made through the use of animals in research laboratories. We continue to strive (since we were formed in 1954) to spur scientific development and innovation and the implementation of alternatives in order to replace the use of animals in research that causes animals harm. Until such replacements are available, we will work to reduce the number of animals used and refine research to decrease animal suffering.
The position and goals of The HSUS on the troubling issue of animal research reflect the opinion of Nobel-prize winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar, who recognized almost fifty years ago the value gained through the use of animals in laboratories but who added, even back then, that current reliance on animals "does not imply that we are forevermore, and in increasing numbers, to enlist animals in the scientific service of man. I think that the use of experimental animals on the present scale is a temporary episode in biological and medical history, and that its peak will be reached in ten years’ time, or perhaps even sooner. In the meantime, we must grapple with the paradox that nothing but research on animals will provide us with the knowledge that will make it possible for us, one day, to dispense with the use of them altogether.” (Medawar, 1972).
If animal experimentation was the hallmark of 20th century biomedical research, sophisticated non-animal methods are likely to characterize 21st century research. Many humane state-of-the-art alternatives to animal experiments have already been shown to be effective in advancing medical progress, cutting research costs, and eliminating animal suffering.
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News & Events
June 12, 2015
New Protections for Captive Chimpanzees: Government Restricts Use In Biomedical Research, Entertainment and The Pet Trade
Captive chimps in the U.S. will have increased protections under a new regulation that recognizes their declining numbers in the wild and the conservation impacts of exploiting captive chimps.
June 12, 2015
Captive and wild chimpanzees are now listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The new listing from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in response to a 2010 legal petition by The Humane Society of the United States. Under the ESA, a permit for any activity that would involve harming, harassing, killing or the use of chimpanzees in interstate commerce is required.
February 9, 2015
You can help pass laws that protect animals in your state. Humane Lobby Day is easy, fun and guaranteed to make you feel like a powerful animal activist. We'll help you find the Humane Lobby Day in your state.
January 13, 2015
Too often, animal research labs face only minimum penalties when animals in their care are mistreated. Join us in telling the USDA to better protect animals in laboratories.
May 29, 2015
The Harvard Medical School’s New England Primate Research Center is scheduled to close on May 31.
July 26, 2013
An official ceremonial signing was held by Gov. Dannel Malloy for the passage of “An Act Concerning Dissection Choice,” a new law requiring schools to excuse any student from participating or observing the dissection of any animal as part of classroom instruction.
June 26, 2013
The National Institutes of Health announced its intention to retire the majority of the more than 350 government-owned chimpanzees currently in laboratories to sanctuary.
June 11, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a proposal to protect all chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act.