Walorski, Boyle Introduce Bill to Retire Animals from Government Labs

U.S. Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) Wednesday introduced the bipartisan Animal Freedom from Testing, Experimentation and Research (AFTER) Act. The bill would direct all federal agencies to develop and maintain a policy allowing for the adoption or other non-laboratory placement of dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, and other regulated animals no longer needed for research in federal labs.

“Animals should always be treated humanely, including when they are used in taxpayer-funded laboratory research,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “When these animals are no longer needed for testing, federal agencies should have a plan in place to safely and humanely relocate them. The bipartisan AFTER Act will ensure agencies make good faith efforts to relocate animals to loving homes, rescues, or reputable sanctuaries, such as the primate sanctuary located in Indiana’s 2nd District.”

“For years I’ve worked to reduce outdated government animal testing opposed by most Americans, and have been disturbed at how many healthy animals are killed at the end of research even though there are individuals, rescues and sanctuaries ready to take them in,” said Congressman Boyle. “These animals deserve a second chance and the AFTER Act will ensure that federal agencies have plans in place to identify suitable homes for dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals that survive government experiments.”

“The dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys and other animals confined in government laboratories belong to taxpayers, and over 1 million WCW advocates have told Congress that they want these animals back,” said Noelle Callahan, Public Policy Manager at taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project. “We applaud Reps. Boyle and Walorski’s outstanding leadership for introducing the AFTER Act to give animals an opportunity to find homes with taxpayers when government experiments end.”

BACKGROUND

Currently, tens of thousands of animals endure a range of taxpayer-funded testing in federal labs including observational studies and invasive experiments. The AFTER Act would ensure that agencies have policies in place to facilitate the relocation of healthy lab animals to private homes, animal rescues, or reputable sanctuaries.

Congresswoman Walorski has long championed efforts to reduce unnecessary government testing on dogs and other animals. She recently helped introduce the PUPPERS Act (H.R. 1155) to end harmful, taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Peaceable Primate Sanctuary, a non-profit refuge for more than 30 baboons and other primates retired from biomedical research, is located in Winamac, Ind., in Indiana’s 2nd District.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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