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AARF Act Will Stop FDA from Testing on Dogs

Paws Up! To PA Representative Brendan Boyle for introducing a bill that would end dog testing.

November 19, 2020

Last week, Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA) introduced a bill in Congress that could change the lives of thousands of dogs trapped in research facilities across the United States. The Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness (AARF) Act, H.R. 8736, would allow sponsors of new pharmaceuticals to find alternative and humane drug testing methods. Currently, the FDA requires animal testing on all pharmaceuticals. In essence, the AARF Act would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and help phase out unnecessary and cruel animal testing on drugs meant for humans.

Take Action: Please call or write to your representatives and implore them to cosponsor HR. 8736, The Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness Act to save the helpless animals trapped in laboratories across the United States!

Below are some facts and figures about animal testing in the United States, as well as testing alternatives and how you can help animals subjected to testing.

Animals Used

  • An estimated 50 to 100 million vertebrates are used annually, including over 20 million mice and rats, in laboratory experiments in the United States.
  • Other animals used in laboratory experiments include primates, dogs, pigs, cats, sheep, and rabbits.
  • Many of these animals are supplied by Class A Dealers, that is, business that breed dogs and other animals specifically for experimentation; others are acquired from Class B dealers, that is, brokers who sell animals to laboratories after acquiring them from animal shelters and other sources.
  • Because of their compact size and docile temperament, beagles are the most common breed of dog used in laboratory research.

How Animal Testing Is Performed

  •  Draize test: Liquid chemicals are placed directly in the eye to estimate the ability of a test substance to irritate or damage the eye. Rabbits are most often used in this test. The animals are given no pain relievers and their heads are normally held in a stock.
  • Skin irritant: Chemicals are placed on raw or shaved skin without the use of anesthetic. Substances may be corrosive and leave open wounds.
  • Oral toxicity: Animals are force-fed chemicals often to the point of death in order to ascertain lethal doses.
  • LD50 (lethal dose 50 percent): The purpose of this test is to estimate the dose of a substance needed to kill half a group of test animals.

Alternatives to Animal Testing

  • Instead of using animals, some scientists use human tissue generated in a lab.
  • Eliminating redundancy would reduce the number of animals needed for testing. Too many tests are replications of tests already conducted and offer no new information.
  • Many companies use of product ingredients that are already know to be safe for human use.

Ways You Can Help Laboratory Animals

  • Support legislation to require stricter regulation and enforcement of animal testing, including protecting all animals subject to consumer product and medical testing.
  • Only buy personal care and household products that did not employee new animal testing. Visit to find companies that do and do not test their products on animals.
  • Contact companies that test their products on animals and let them know you will no longer buy their products.
  • Order the free NHES brochure “Animal Experimentation and Dissection” to distribute in your community.
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