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
April 17, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint against the University of Alaska, Fairbanks citing multiple alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including the alleged starvation and death of twelve muskoxen.
March 24, 2014
Ricky Gervais, on behalf of The Humane Society of the United States’ Be Cruelty-Free USA campaign, is urging the United States to end cosmetics animal testing and the manufacture and sale of animal-tested cosmetics.
March 10, 2014
The global Be Cruelty-Free campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics launches its second annual Be Cruelty-Free Week with an infographic providing the tools to take action, the support of actress, dancer and former model Jenna Dewan Tatum, a video featuring cruelty-free beauty bloggers and a special promotion with Vegan Cuts.
March 5, 2014
The Humane Cosmetics Act, a bill that would enhance worldwide momentum in ensuring animals are not harmed in the process of creating or manufacturing cosmetics, has been introduced by Congressman Jim Moran, D-VA.
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.
June 7, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formalized several policy recommendations designed to reduce animal tests in pesticide safety.