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Boyle, Walorski Introduce Bill to Retire Animals from Government Labs

May 22, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02) and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) introduced the bipartisan Animal Freedom from Testing, Experimentation and Research (AFTER) Act. The bill directs 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.

Currently, tens of thousands of animals endure a range of taxpayer-funded testing in federal labs including observational studies and invasive experiments. Rep. Boyle’s ongoing efforts have uncovered that when animals are no longer needed by researchers, most who survive are euthanized.  The AFTER Act will ensure that agencies have policies in place to facilitate the relocation of healthy lab animals to private homes, animal rescues, or reputable sanctuaries.

"For years I’ve worked to reduce outdated government animal testing opposed by most Americans, and have been disturbed at how many healthy animals are killed at the end of research even though there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.”

Last year, Congressman Boyle led a bipartisan group of lawmakers probing federal agencies about their lab animal use and post-research retirement practices. In April 2019, Congressman Boyle’s efforts with other lawmakers and the non-profit White Coat Waste Project prompted the USDA to end cruel testing kittens and adopt out 16 cats to agency staff, a first for the USDA.