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
August 11, 2016
The National Institutes of Health announced an official plan for the retirement of all government-owned or government-supported chimpanzees from research laboratories to sanctuary.
May 13, 2016
House Negotiators Urged to Include Provisions to Reduce Animal Testing in Final Toxic Substances Reform Package
As final discussions wind down on critical legislation on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform package, commonly known as The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, 39 House Democrats wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ, and urged him to incorporate all elements of the Senate-passed language on animal testing.
August 5, 2015
The New York Blood Center abandoned its retired research chimpanzees in Liberia. We stepped in to provide lifesaving care for the chimps—and are working to hold the blood center accountable.
July 15, 2015
After months of public pressure from individuals and animal protection groups led by The Humane Society of the United States to renew funding for the care of 66 chimpanzees in Liberia, The New York Blood Center issued a statement denying any responsibility for the care of the animals it used over decades for invasive research.
December 17, 2015
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund commend the U.S. Senate for passing S. 697, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, by voice vote.
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.