A recent Gallup poll revealed what should have been great news for animals: The number of Americans who oppose using animals for medical testing reached a record high, with 44 percent of respondents calling the practice “morally wrong.” In 2001, only 26 percent of Americans felt this way.
Meanwhile, studies continue to demonstrate that animal models simply aren’t working. In fact, evidence shows that in certain forms of research—for example, drug development for nervous system disorders—the animal model may even be holding us back from scientific breakthroughs.
Knowledge of how animals are used, for what purpose and with what results, is important in advocating for change. In 2014, the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the enforcement division of the USDA.
As an ever-increasing number of Americans are coming to understand the folly of animal tests, and are demanding progress toward the development of humane alternatives, it is time for the government to become more—not less—open about its use of animals. Passage of the Animal Welfare Accountability and Transparency Act will play an important role in replacing the use of animals for research, testing and education with more humane, predictive and human-relevant testing methods.