Why You Should Support the FACT Act

A May 2018 study has found the National Toxicology Program uses animals in 82% of its tests, “subjecting countless animal to painful procedures with little relevance to human health”.

The National Toxicology Program or NTP is a federal agency within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and is a partner with Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. NTP is tasked with coordinating studies of substances that could present potential harm to the public. NTP is also supposed to “develop[] and implement[] modern testing technologies that reduce animal use”. NTP’s budget was $131 million in FY 2016.

The report issued by White Coat Waste Project and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, finds, however, that NTP’s “testing practices …are not keeping pace with technological advances”. The report found that in 48% of NTP’s most common current chemical tests, at least 115,000 animals were used at a cost of $186 million. The number of animals used in all current tests is likely 200,000 at a cost of $250 billion. Less than half (48%) of chemicals currently under assessment by NTP have non animal tests planned; all have animal tests planned.

The most common animal tests involve “administering massive, human irrelevant doses” by “force-feeding, forced inhalation, injection, spiked food and water, and application to their bare skin, including to pregnant animals and their offspring”. Animals “used in these poisoning tests are typically not provided with any pain relief”. In one test on acrylamide, a by-product of roasting coffee and baking and frying starchy foods like French fries and potato chips, NTP gave the chemical to mice and rats in “‘doses 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels people might be exposed to in foods'”. NTP found “‘clear evidence'” acrylamide causes cancer. The National Cancer Institute reports, however, that based on epidemiological studies in humans, there is no consistent evidence the dietary exposure acrylamide causes cancer.

Another pointless, cruel, and costly NTP animal study involved testing cell phone radiation on 3,000 animals over 10 years at a cost of $25 million. The levels of exposure to radiation were more than 10 times that of the highest cell phone use. Even the NTP concluded, “So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage”.

The Weekly Standard recently questioned why the government continues to support “cruel, ineffective, and expensive” animal testing when private industry in the case of cosmetics in particular has “abandoned” it.

The report recommends enactment of the bipartisan Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT), H.R. 816, to improve progress reporting by NTP and other agencies about efforts to reduce animal use in toxicity testing, redirect funds for animal tests to development and use of non animal alternatives, halt animal studies by NTP pending an independent audit, restrict funding for animal testing at all agencies, and increase transparency of the costs of animal testing.

White Coat Waste Project and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society presented the report in a bipartisan briefing hosted by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA).


Call or send a post card to your U.S. representative and urge him/her to support the FACT Act, H.R. 816 and also restrict funding for animal testing at NTP and other agencies. Find your U.S. representative here.

Say No to Outsourcing AWA Inspections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to outsource to private parties the inspections required for operations regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, including puppy mills, animal exhibitions, and animal research labs. These private parties are likely to have close ties to these industries. That means these places will be largely left to self-policing. This plan will enrich private contractors and leave the animals in worse jeopardy. APHIS already provided very few inspectors for the thousands of animals trapped in mills, exhibits and research labs.

What You Can Do

Go here to submit comments by no later than March 21. Let APHIS know that (1) Third party inspection and certification programs mean industry self-policing and reduced accountability and transparency, (2) Third party oversight in the past has failed, leaving the public and animals vulnerable to industry abuses, (3) Third party inspections jeopardize the safety and welfare of animals required to be protected by APHIS under the Animal Welfare Act.

Help Stop Use of Pets for Research

dog sold for researchRep. Michael F. Doyle (D-PA) has introduced the Pet Safety and Protection Act, H.R. 2256. The Pet Safety Protection Act would amend the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§2137, 2138 and ban the sale of "random source" dogs and cats by Class B dealers to research laboratories.

Class B dealers are basically those who buy, sell and transport animals. Some have been accused of taking pets which are stolen or obtained from "random sources", keeping them in horrific conditions and then selling them for medical research. For example, unscrupulous Class B dealers often answer ads in the newspaper that offer animals "free to a good home".  They will steal pets off the streets. Laboratories will pay $250-$350 per animal.

The only places research facilities would be able to acquire animals would be from Class A dealers (breeders), other licensed research facilities, a person who has bred the animal or owned it for at least a year, or a registered publicly owned and operated shelter that obtained the animal from its legal owner .  

The Act provides for a $1000 fine for each violation in addition to any other applicable penalty.  

Animal Law Coalition opposes the use of any animals for research, and though this Act does not go far enough, it is at least a start to end that practice. Under this bill animal research labs and facilities would be barred from aiding in the widespread theft of pets or animals intended as pets such as those advertised in newspapers. These animals could no longer be used for research.

One of the most notorious Class B dealers was Chester C. "C.C." Baird. Baird was the largest USDA licensed Class "B" animal dealer. He was also the operator of what was the largest known pet theft ring. Baird kept hundreds of animals in deplorable conditions and reportedly sold them for research.

cat held for researchThanks to an undercover investigation by Last Chance for Animals, Baird pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to launder money in an operation involving the sale of dogs and cats to research laboratories. (For his horrific crimes, though, Baird received only 3 years probation and 6 months home detention. His wife, Patsy, was sentenced to 2 years probation for misprision of felony mail fraud. Their fines together totaled $10,000.)

An HBO documentary which aired in February, 2006, Dealing Dogs, follows the case of Baird, a Church of Christ minister, who allegedly made millions as a licensed Class B dealer selling animals for research.


The House version, H.R. 2256 has dozens of co-sponsors. Find your U.S. representative here by entering your zipcode at the top right and ask him or her to co-sponsor the bill. If your representative is already a co-sponsor, thank him or her and ask your rep to encourage others to sign on!

H.R. 2256 has been assigned to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture, the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry. Find committee members (click on their names for contact info) and urge them to support this important bill.


GAO Report Proves It’s Time to Ban Sale of “Random Source” Dogs, Cats for Research

A September 10, 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) proves once again that the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) lacks the resources to enforce even the meager Animal Welfare Act regulations for businesses that profit from or use animals.  

Earlier this year a scathing audit revealed the gross inadequacy of APHIS’ enforcement of regulations for commercial breeders .  The audit prompted the PUPS Act, a bill that would regulate breeders that sell directly to the public as well as wholesalers and implement an enforceable scheme for exercise.

Now the GAO has found APHIS does not effectively monitor "[d]ealers who sell random source dogs and cats-animals obtained from pounds or shelters, auction sales, or from owners who bred and raised the animal on the owner’s premises-[and who] are referred to as random source Class B dealers."

"To ensure these dealers comply with AWA and its regulations, APHIS conducts unannounced inspections of their facilities at least quarterly and performs ‘tracebacks’-an oversight process unique to this type of dealer. Tracebacks involve APHIS inspectors using a dealer’s records to trace a particular dog or cat back to the source from which that dealer obtained the animal, both to verify the legitimacy of the sale and to ensure the dog or cat was not lost or stolen."  Eight field inspectors are assigned to random source Class B dealers, and five of them are veterinary medical officers. As of July 2010, there were 9 Class B dealers licensed by APHIS to sell random source dogs and cats for research.

The GAO found "APHIS inspection reports documented one or more violations by seven of the nine random source Class B dealers from fiscal years 2007 through 2009…. As of July 2010, several of these dealers were under further investigation by APHIS in light of repeated violations… [A]bout 29 percent of tracebacks APHIS conducted during this period were either unsuccessful or had not been completed as of June 2010…. The agency does not fully use the traceback information it collects, and thus cannot ensure it is detecting problems with the process…"

In effect, GAO has concluded APHIS Animal Care inspectors simply cannot assure the public that random source Class B dealers are obtaining animals legitimately.

So, isn’t it time to ban the sale by Class B dealers of random source dogs and cats for research? In light of the GAO’s findings, Congress should pass immediately the Pet Safety and Protection Act, H.R. 3907 and S.B. 1834, a common sense measure to protect pets from theft and sale for research by unscrupulous Class B dealers. For more on this bill and notorious abuse of animals by Class B dealers ….