Sending Office: Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard
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        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsor H.R. 1209, the Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences (HEARTS) Act

Dear Colleague:

We invite you to become a cosponsor of HEARTS, legislation that encourages the use of existing, humane, and effective alternatives to animals in experiments funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The National Institutes of Health is internationally renowned for its life-saving research that has greatly improved the health and well-being not only of Americans but also of people around the world. For years this research has relied predominantly on
animals: it is estimated that between 17 million and 22 million animals are used annually in the US in research, education, and testing. However, much more has become known about the unsuitability of animal models for studying human disease and many more humane,
cost-effective, and scientifically suitable non-animal models are now available.

Prioritizing the use of non-animal methods in taxpayer-funded research could improve the cost efficacy of our federal research investment. Currently, the NIH spends at least $12 billion a year on animal testing, but research shows that the return on investment
is often low, and the results inaccurate. NIH reports that approximately 30 percent of promising medications have failed in human clinical studies
despite promising pre-clinical studies in animal models.

Non-animal research and testing methods would spare significant numbers of animals from pain, distress, and death. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, the share of Americans who think that it’s unethical to do medical testing on animals has reached a new high,
with 44 percent of adults surveyed holding that medical testing on animals is “morally wrong,” up from 26 percent in 2001.  With public support for animal research at an all-time low, and with non-animal methods expanding tremendously in all areas of research,
we believe the time is right to ensure that NIH prioritizes the use of existing humane and scientifically valid alternatives in research and testing.

The HEARTS bill amends the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 to provide meaningful incentives for non-animal research methods.  Specifically, the bill: 

  • Ensures that before any experiment involving the use of an animal is funded, the applicant has fully evaluated available non-animal methods.
  • Establishes guidelines for NIH grant applicants to conduct thorough searches for non-animal alternatives, and to carry out harm-benefit analyses of proposed animal research.
  • Encourages NIH to give meaningful incentives to grant proposals that rely on non-animal models where feasible and applicable.
  • Requires, in the event that the proposal still calls for the use of animals, a statement of assurance that a scientifically sound non-animal method of the obtaining the desired result is not available.

Please join us as original cosponsors in support of the Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences Act to ensure that non-animal research methods are considered in all federally funded NIH research. For more information, or to become
a cosponsor, please contact Christina LeBlanc ( ) in Rep. Roybal-Allard’s office or Allyson McReynolds (
) in Rep. Calvert’s office.



LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD                                KEN CALVERT

Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: HealthCare, Natural Resources, Science, Technology

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 1209
Special Note:

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