CHICAGO, IL — The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), along with a coalition of fellow animal advocacy organizations, primate sanctuaries, scientific organizations, ethicists and scientists, is urging the Biden administration not to move forward with a proposal to dramatically increase the number of nonhuman primates available for biomedical research in the United States.
In a letter to President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, NAVS and its coalition members are asking the government to reject calls by some in the scientific community to create a “stockpile” of nonhuman primates. NAVS is calling the plan, which was revealed publicly in a February New York Times report, “a shortsighted and opportunistic recommendation that omits ethical and moral considerations.”
“I am appalled by the extraordinary suggestion that the U.S. should create a national ‘stockpile’ of monkeys, as if they were cordwood, fuel or mere lab equipment, as opposed to living, feeling, sentient beings,” notes NAVS Executive Director Kenneth Kandaras. “The ethical ramifications of such an attitude are simply unconscionable.”
In their letter, NAVS asserts that “nonhuman primates deserve a life free from suffering, pain, and confinement, all of which inevitably await them if they are stockpiled for research.”
NAVS further notes the extraordinary failure rate of animal models to translate into positive human health outcomes.
“Over 90% of drugs that show promise in animal testing trials do not work in humans,” they explain. “This begs the question, how many potentially effective treatments for humans did not advance to humans because they did not work in animal trials?”
Rather than continuing to accelerate funding for animal studies that “distract from, and slow down, the exciting progress in the development and use of innovative human-based models,” NAVS is asking that the Biden administration instead prioritize funding for “forward-thinking alternatives that will better model human biology and provide better treatments for human disease.”
The complete text of the letter can be found on the NAVS website at https://navs.org/stockpile.
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