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Congressman Boyle Cheers Major Victory that Will Save Thousands of Animals at NIH

August 7, 2019
Press Release
PHILADELPHIA - Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) applauds the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for agreeing to his request to change their policy and allow lab animals to be adopted after they are no longer needed for research. The previous NIH policy resulted in the needless euthanization of tens of thousands of dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, and other animals. This major policy change comes after months of legislative pressure by Congressman Boyle.
Prior to the NIH's policy change, tens of thousands of animals were subject to a range of taxpayer-funded testing in federal labs including observational studies and invasive experiments. Upon discovering that those animals were euthanized when no longer needed by researchers, Rep. Boyle introduced the AFTER Act to ensure that agencies have policies in place to facilitate the relocation of healthy lab animals to private homes, animal rescues, or reputable sanctuaries.
"I am very happy with the NIH ’s policy change to create an adoption policy for research animals in federal labs", said Congressman Boyle. "Now, tens of thousands of cats, dogs and other animals will have the chance at an opportunity to live out a full and happy life outside of the laboratory. For years I’ve worked to reduce outdated government animal testing opposed by most Americans, and have been disturbed at how many healthy animals are killed at the end of research even though there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. These animals will now have a second chance.”
“NIH spends more tax money on animal testing than any other agency and its historic new lab animal retirement policy will prevent the unnecessary and wasteful killing of dogs, cats, rabbits and other healthy animals when experiments end,” said Noelle Callahan, Public Policy Manager at taxpayer watchdog White Coat Waste Project. “We applaud Congressman Boyle for leading this effort and introducing the bipartisan AFTER Act to ensure that all regulated animals in all federal labs also get a second chance at life when they survive government testing. As more than 1.2 million WCW supporters have told Congress and the NIH: Taxpayers bought these animals and we want Uncle Sam to give them back.”
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 prompted the USDA to end cruel testing kittens and, for the first time, adopt out 16 cats to agency staff.