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January 19, 2024 | Press Releases

Steube, Titus Lead 21 Colleagues in Bipartisan Letter to NIH Demanding Accountability for Cruel Testing on Dogs and Cats

Rep. Steube visits Huckleberry Finn, a 10-month-old beagle puppy rescued from the infamous government breeding facility, Envigo. Huckleberry Finn is one of 18 Envigo beagles placed in homes in the Sarasota area by The Humane Society of Sarasota County (September 2022).

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Representatives Greg Steube (R-Fla.) and Dina Titus (D-Nev.) today led 21 of their colleagues in a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Monica Bertagnolli to obtain information in their efforts to curb taxpayer-funded, harmful experimentation on dogs and cats. The letter also urges the NIH to support alternatives to harmful animal testing. 

“On both sides of the political aisle, Americans don’t want the government conducting painful, cruel experiments on dogs and cats,” said Rep. Steube. “Right now, our tax dollars are enabling these experiments at the NIH. I thank my colleagues for joining me in holding the NIH accountable for their failures to curb experimentation on dogs and cats.”

“The National Institute of Health is the single largest funder of inhumane research on dogs and cats and must be held accountable for its actions,” said Rep. Titus. “Their resistance to instituting safe, reliable, and cost-effective alternatives to animal testing, despite overwhelming evidence and clear and consistent bipartisan support, is alarming. As other federal agencies work to end harmful experimentation on dogs and cats, the NIH must follow their lead and modernize its testing practices.”

“We applaud Reps. Steube and Titus for demanding answers from the National Institutes of Health about its tens of millions in wasteful spending on outdated and inhumane experiments on dogs and cats at home and abroad, despite them being opposed by a growing majority of taxpayers across the political spectrum. Our investigations have documented how the NIH is the government’s largest funder of cruel dog and cat experiments, some of which involve inflicting severe pain and suffering that’s intentionally unrelieved. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent and shouldn’t be forced to fund barbaric animal labs that butcher beagles and cripple kittens,” said Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President, White Coat Waste Project.

National Institutes of Health is currently the single largest funder of painful research on dogs and cats. Through investigations, several troubling NIH-funded dog and cat experiments have come to light.

The letter questions: 

  • FY23 NIH Spending on Dog and Cat Testing: In FY23, how many dogs, cats and taxpayer dollars were used for painful NIH-funded research and testing intramurally and extramurally?
  • Dog and Cat Testing Reduction Efforts: What specific efforts and initiatives, if any, is NIH undertaking to reduce and replace the use of dogs and cats in intramural and extramural research?  Has the NIH met with the FDA to discuss how it can avoid the use of dogs and cats in contracts for drug safety testing?
  • Post-Research Dog and Cat Retirement: Please list and describe current policies that allow or encourage the retirement of dogs and cats used for intramural and extramural NIH-funded research. How many dogs and cats have been retired from NIHs intramural labs over the last five years?

Rep. Steube has fought throughout his career to end cruel animal experiments, including:

Rep. Steube’s family includes their four rescue dogs, Luke, Leia, Chance, and Matty. 

Read the letter here.