Maryland becomes first state to require animal testing labs to contribute money to non-animal research
By Kitty Block
Maryland has a groundbreaking new tool to help the state transition away from animal experiments. This week, Gov. Wes Moore signed HB 626/SB 560 into law, making Maryland the first state to require that animal laboratories contribute to a research fund that will be used to provide grants for scientists developing non-animal research alternatives.
We worked closely with the lawmakers who drafted the legislation, garnering support for the bill from non-animal methods developers and negotiating on final bill language with Maryland universities that conduct animal experiments to ensure adequate dedicated funding for the grants.
Millions of dogs, cats, monkeys, mice and other animals currently suffer in U.S. laboratories. Non-animal alternatives such as organs-on-chips, robotics, computer models and other advanced technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce and eventually eliminate animal use in research and testing. But inadequate funding from government agencies, companies and universities limits the pool of resources available to speed their development.
It’s not just animals who are negatively affected when funding is directed to animal experiments instead of non-animal alternatives—humans are as well. Because animals and humans are very different, results from animal experiments are often not applicable to people. For example, extensive evidence demonstrates that results from toxicity tests in animals often don’t accurately predict toxicity in humans. In fact, approximately 90% of drugs ultimately fail in human trials; about half of these failures are due to unexpected toxic effects in humans following animal tests.
The animal-based methods used today were developed decades ago. In contrast, non-animal alternatives are more sophisticated and effective, meaning that they can more accurately and effectively predict how the human body will respond to drugs, chemicals and treatments. These methods represent the very latest techniques that science has to offer, provide countless possibilities to improve our understanding and treatment of the human body, and will only continue to improve over time. Non-animal methods are also typically faster and less expensive than animal experiments.
With the passage of this law, Maryland has created a precedent for the transition toward the non-animal methods of the future. This funding shift will accelerate scientific discovery by allowing for early adoption of promising non-animal alternatives, giving the state a competitive advantage in the biotech market. And in Maryland next year, we’ll be working more on this issue by looking at ways to end unnecessary animal tests.
We are making progress on this bipartisan issue in other states as well:
- In Oregon and Rhode Island, proposed bills would ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
- In California, a bill would strengthen an existing law that requires laboratories to replace animal testing with non-animal alternatives approved by government agencies.
- In Massachusetts, a bill would mandate that companies use alternative test methods when they are available for products such as cosmetics, pesticides, industrial chemicals and household cleaners.
- In Virginia, a new law will require publicly funded animal laboratory websites to include links to their U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports and annual reports, which detail the species and number of certain animals used in research and testing.
- In Michigan, Teddy’s Law, named in honor of one of the beagles released as a result of our 2018 undercover investigation at a Michigan laboratory, would require laboratories to ensure that dogs and cats used for testing have the opportunity to be adopted into loving homes after leaving the laboratory and to report the number of dogs and cats adopted out each year.
- In Pennsylvania, there’s legislation to bar breeding facilities with certain animal welfare violations from selling dogs and cats to laboratories, defund painful procedures involving dogs and cats, and ensure that animals in laboratories have an opportunity to be adopted.
The world will increasingly benefit from the use of sophisticated non-animal alternatives that advance human health in ways we never thought possible. We are proud of our role in bringing the world ever closer to that future—while simultaneously working to reduce the suffering of animals in laboratories across the country.
Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.
I hope all reserch on innocents ainmals ends soon.I herd the university of minnesota was prefoming tests on cats having holes drilled in to there heads.I hope that horrible test will end soon.
The USA worships profit at all costs. It surprises me that a state government body actually did something good toward the plight of animals. A big thank you to Pennsylvania. THANK YOU!
I can’t believe this is still happening. Animal testing is so competitive, each lab pricking, prodding, injecting, pushing, shoving, cutting & torturing innocent animals to find a cure for a disease they created. Every lab wants to be the first to find a cure, make a profit & gain the accolades. Most diseases are manmade, man created diseases. Yes there are diseases which grow in nature due to dirty water, dirty air, chemicals, pesticides & perversion of natures rules. Animals are 100% totally innocent & they are made to suffer the most because of man’s arrogance.
I pray all this frightful, painful & agonizying research done on all dogs is stopped ASAP!! Innocent dogs need to be loved, not “used & abused” for the selfish, painful research!!
Stop das Grauen, Beagles in den Laboren zu testen Stop .. was sind das für brutale Menschen … haben die kein Gefühl und ein ♥️ für ein Tier … wann hört das denn endlich auf Tiere so zu quälen Stop wir müssen dagegen kämpfen damit das tierleid aufhört … ein Tier hat das Recht auf ein artgerechtes leben und wir haben nicht das Recht, ein Tier zu quälen … das verstößt gegen Tierschutz … Stop Hilfe für die Armen Beagles …
There is no love whatsoever in the hearts of these people that do testing of any kind on any of these loving animals that are so innocent. How do they live with themselves is beyond belief.This is so inhumane and cruel. All the money in the world could not and should not convince anyone that this is ok to do. What could they possibly be thinking when the poor innocent animal is happy to see you and then you are forcing pesticides into it or whatever else is so abusive to it. This should be STOPPED IMMEDIATELY!!!! and let these animals go to loving homes where they belong.
how much funding is HSUS providing to this MD program? to other NAMs initiatives?