Welcome to the AAVS Action Center!
Send messages directly to decision makers – find your elected officials by clicking here. The AAVS Action Center facilitates communication with government and corporate representatives that have power to effect change. Use your voice to influence today’s urgent issues:
On May 20, a bill was introduced in Congress that would help dogs and cats no longer needed in government research find loving families and start life anew. The Humane Retirement Act (H.R. 2850) would establish an adoption policy for dogs and cats used in research conducted at and funded by Public Health Service (PHS) agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.
As part of our mission to end the use of animals in research, testing, and education, AAVS supports sanctuaries that provide caring environments for animals formerly used in laboratories. The majority of AAVS-funded sanctuaries care for nonhuman primates, like chimpanzees, macaques, capuchins, and tamarins retired from labs. These same sanctuaries are often called upon to rescue animals from the entertainment industry, pet trade, and other abusive situations, straining their valuable resources and making it more difficult to provide refuge to animals relinquished from labs.
While the European Union (EU) and many countries around the world have enacted laws prohibiting animal tested cosmetics, the U.S. has yet to do so. However, the Humane Cosmetics Act of 2019 (HCA) could change this. If enacted, this bill would make it illegal to “knowingly conduct or contract for cosmetic animal testing,” as well as “sell, offer for sale, or knowingly transport…any cosmetic that was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing” in the United States. Introduced to both chambers of Congress, this latest version of the HCA is more detailed and comprehensive in its approach to end the use of animals to test cosmetic products than previous ones, in part because it puts added emphasis on the development and use of non-animal alternatives.
Over 40 chimpanzees have been languishing at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico for years. On October 24, 2019, with the excuse that it’s for their own good, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that the APF chimps would not have their chance for freedom. These chimpanzees were used in horrific experiments, many funded by NIH, as well as other government agencies. Fortunately, research using these chimps ended almost two decades ago, but they cannot wait to be moved to a sanctuary home.
Despite the widespread concern voiced by consumer groups, the public, environmental organizations, and AAVS, the federal government has given the final OK for genetically engineered (GE) salmon to be marketed and sold as food. Developed by Aqua Bounty Technologies, the salmon is engineered to contain a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and a promoter gene from an ocean pout, making it grow twice as fast as those in the wild. The development of GE salmon is a gross misuse of biotechnology and it puts the welfare of animals at serious risk.
The Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences (HEARTS) Act, introduced in February, will help “ensure that non-animal methods are prioritized, where applicable and feasible, in proposals for all research to be conducted or supported by the National Institutes of Health.” The bill states what AAVS and many other advocates have long believed, that animal welfare “oversight is generally weak and little heed is paid to the use of non-animal methods or the avoidance of duplication, thereby unnecessarily subjecting animals to pain, suffering, and death.”
After several years of making animal welfare reports and legal documents available on its website, in February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) blocked the public, animal groups like AAVS, and the media from having access to nearly all information related to the welfare of animals at laboratories, dealers, carriers, breeders, and exhibitors from its website. Gradually, some info has been restored, and most recently, the searchable database has been enabled. However, this reservoir of information continues to have notable omissions and inconsistencies, raising questions about whether information on facilities is complete. It also shows a lack of transparency on the part of USDA.
Last year, Mauritius exported over 4,000 macaques to the U.S., over 50 percent more than in 2013. By far, the majority of monkeys were shipped to laboratories like Primate Products, which imported 1,000 macaques alone. Additionally, two shipments of macaques coming from Mauritius last year were named in violations involving charges of inhumane shipment under the Lacey Act and violations of endangered species law.
Please help stop the exportation of primates from Mauritius!
During the 1950s and 1960s, University of Wisconsin researcher Harry Harlow conducted his maternal deprivation experiments, in which newborn monkeys were taken from their mothers and forced to live in total isolation, causing severe psychosis. Earlier this year, an experiment that recalls those dark days was approved by the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) as a way to study anxiety in humans.
Animal advocates have been successful in international efforts to convince every major passenger airline to stop its transport of primates for research, except for one: Air France.