Don't Create a Stockpile of Monkeys for Biomedical Research

Don’t Create a Stockpile of Monkeys for Biomedical Research

Amidst the pandemic there has been an elevated focus on medicine and vaccine testing. Unfortunately, some members of the scientific community are using the pandemic as an excuse to dramatically increase the number of monkeys available for use in biomedical and other scientific research.

In a recent article in the scientific journal Nature, it was revealed that the Biden administration plans to invest heavily in the creation and maintenance of a monkey “stockpile” at national facilities that house primates for biomedical research. This plan blatantly omits important ethical and moral considerations and threatens to reverse revolutionary work on the development of innovative models that more accurately reflect human biology.

Join us in urging Congress not to approve the Biden administration’s increase in funding for the National Primate Research Centers as part of the 2022 budget and to instead prioritize funding for humane, human-relevant research.


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Please deny increased funding to primate research centers

Dear [Decision Maker],

I respectfully urge you to refrain from authorizing any increase in funding for National Primate Research Centers as part of the 2022 budget. Funneling millions of dollars to primate research centers omits serious ethical and moral considerations and threatens to slow down or even reverse revolutionary work that is being made toward the development of human-relevant models.

The current pandemic has highlighted the need for models that utilize human biology to deliver superior results. More than any Congress in our history, you have the opportunity--and the obligation--to invest in human-based models that will better prepare us for future pandemics. Such alternatives are already being adopted across scientific disciplines and are proving fruitful without the use of animal test subjects.

Non-human primates are not "resources" to be stockpiled and used at our leisure. They are highly social, complex and emotional creatures deserving of a life free from suffering, pain and confinement, all of which inevitably await them if they are stockpiled for research.

Aside from the serious moral and ethical concerns, the use of animal models as stand-ins for humans too often results in misleading outcomes that delay scientific progress. Approximately 90% of drugs that show promise in animal testing trials do not work in humans. This begs the question of how many potentially effective treatments did not advance to humans because they did not work in animal trials?

In an acknowledgement of the shortcomings of animal testing and the need for human-based models, this year members of Congress have introduced three pieces of bipartisan legislation that would encourage the development of alternative models. The FACT Act (H.R. 197), the AARF Act (A.R. 1905) and the Humane Research and Testing Act (H.R. 1744) will encourage and assist agencies in their efforts to reduce animal testing and develop superior human-relevant research methods.

There is no monkey shortage in the United States, and no need to invest millions into breeding and housing them. I ask that you instead invest resources in the development of testing alternatives that will better model human biology and better predict human health response.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]