Tell Congress: No More Funding for National Primate Research Centers

Tell Congress: No More Funding for National Primate Research Centers

MonkeyFor over a year, NAVS closely followed the work of a federal committee tasked with exploring the current use and future needs of nonhuman primates (NHPs) in research. That committee, which we repeatedly contacted over concerns of extreme bias and dismissal of ethics considerations, released a report earlier this year decrying a perceived shortage of NHPs for use in research and lack of funding for NHP experiments. The committee was largely composed of scientists whose careers hinged on the use of nonhuman primates. The committee failed to adequately consider how emerging human-based research methods might replace the use of nonhuman primates in biomedical research. 

Unfortunately, the committee’s one-sided report caught the ear of Congress. Right now, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are working to finalize the next fiscal year budget. Included in the current budget draft is $30 million of funding for research infrastructure at the National Primate Research Centers. This money is allocated to expand and grow a national stockpile of nonhuman primates for use in biomedical research; we cannot allow it to be included in the final budget. 


Calls to Action:

  1. Please contact your U.S Representative and Senators and urge them to reject additional funding for nonhuman primate research.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.



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Reject $30 million in funding for National Primate Research Center Infrastructure

Dear [Decision Maker],

As the House and Senate Appropriations Committees work to finalize the FY24 appropriations bills, I urge the removal of two provisions currently included in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) legislation: (1) $30 million in funding allocated for nonhuman primate (NHP) research infrastructure at the National Primate Research Centers and (2) report language to bolster NHP research "resources." These provisions perpetuate a flawed dependence on animal-based data that unreliably predict safety and efficacy.

The use of NHPs in research is fraught with scientific, economic, and ethical concerns. Indeed, we need to improve our preparedness and response to public health emergencies but expanding the use of NHPs as research "models" of human disease will only serve to hinder progress. Importantly, the well-established biological and behavioral complexity of NHPs makes it ethically problematic to use them as tools rather than treat them as sentient animals that experience pain, traumatic stress, and suffering. The high costs associated with breeding and housing these animals in the long term must also be considered.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that to rapidly respond to health emergencies, we needed to reduce our dependency on legacy approaches that used lengthy and ambiguous animal tests. Federal agencies carefully pivoted to fast-tracking clinical trials, and safety of the first mRNA vaccine candidates for COVID-19 was demonstrated before results were available from NHP experiments.

As the FY24 appropriations bills advance, the Committees' priority should be the continued development and use of more powerful human-biology-based new approach methods. Greater investment in research initiatives to advance the development and use of these and other nonanimal methods will better drive progress in public health emergency efforts and our nation's broader biomedical research agenda.

To better address critical human health needs through human-relevant nonanimal research, we urge the Committees to remove the $30 million funding allocation for National Primate Research Centers and report language on "Research with Non-Human Primates" in FY24 Labor-HHS appropriations.

Thank you for your time and attention.

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