• Don Lichterman

New Bill Introduced to End FDA Dog Testing, AFM-Téléthon, Animals in Laboratories, Animal Testing...

A new bill was introduced to end testing on dogs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to White Coat Waste, the bi-partisan bill will make sure that drugmakers cannot poison dogs or other animals, but use non-animal testing methods instead.

The bill, Alternatives to Animals for Regulatory Fairness (AARF) Act (H.R.8736), was just introduced by Representatives Madeline Dean (D-PA), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), and Scott Perry (R-PA). Current FDA requirements mandate that drug companies must use animal testing in drugs.

“Testing human drugs on dogs and other animals is inhumane, inefficient and inaccurate. This legislation ensures that regulators allow drug makers to use the most cutting-edge, human-relevant technologies to test drugs whenever possible, rather than requiring them to rely on old-fashioned and cruel animal tests,” said the bill’s co-sponsor Madeleine Dean in an emailed statement.

Both animal activists and drug companies were excited by the change. “While other agencies in the FDA’s regulatory ecosystem have aggressively sought to leverage technological advances to eliminate their reliance on animal testing, the FDA lags behind them, the broader science community, and the American public. By not changing its outmoded approach of forcing companies to conduct unnecessary tests on dogs, the FDA not only misses the opportunity to improve safety, but also pointlessly impedes the delivery of innovative new drugs to patients who need them,” said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, M.D., President & CEO, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. in an emailed statement.

This is another important step to stopping animal testing once and for all. Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at White Coat Waste Project said in a statement, “We applaud Reps. Scott Perry, Brendan Boyle, and Madeleine Dean for introducing the AARF Act to save dogs and other animals from wasteful and cruel government-mandated experiments, allow drug makers to avoid needless animal testing red tape, and get consumers safe drugs more quickly and inexpensively, a call with particular urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Animal testing is a useless and unethical part of scientific research, the testing is found to be ineffective, as 95% of drugs that pass animal tests fail on humans. Numerous companies are standing up against animal testing and recently the USDA made a decision to eliminate some mammalian testing by 2025 but there’s more to be done and it’s time countries ban animal experimentation altogether as it hurts humans as well.

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Animals in Laboratories Need You We're down to the final hours of our "Stop Animal Testing" challenge, and we still haven't reached our goal. Will you make a special gift that will DOUBLE in impact for animals in laboratories? Please don't turn away from the cats confined to cages, intentionally mutilated or brain-damaged, and tormented or killed for the sake of crude tests.

Urge Pharmaceutical Giant Eli Lilly to Ban the Near-Drowning of Animals

The "forced swim test" is a widely used experiment that's as cruel as it is worthless. Experimenters put mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, or gerbils in inescapable containers filled with water. The panicked animals try to escape by attempting to climb up the sides of the beakers or even by diving underwater in search of an exit. They paddle furiously, desperately trying to keep their heads above water. Eventually, they'll start to float. Some pharmaceutical companies have used the test when developing treatments for depression, even though it has been shown that it doesn't accurately predict whether a drug will work as a human antidepressant.

The forced swim test is bad science. It does nothing more than terrify animals and delay the development of effective new treatments for depression that are so desperately needed. After discussions with PETA US, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson announced that they'll no longer conduct or fund this cruel test. Roche also stated it has discontinued its use of forced swim tests after hearing from PETA US, PETA Switzerland, and PETA Germany.

Take Action Now! Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly are refusing to commit to banning it. Tell them what you think about that by taking action here.

Urge Téléthon to Stop Funding Cruel Experiments on Dogs

Breeding Pain and Misery in a French Laboratory. The dogs are genetically prone to different types of muscular dystrophy (MD), including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which is particularly severe. These diseases ravage their bodies and are characterised by progressive muscle wasting and weakness. Most dogs never reach adulthood. Some are completely crippled before they even reach 6 months old, and half endure agonising deaths before the age of 10 months.

The heart-breaking video footage shot inside a laboratory in Alfort shows dogs having difficulty swallowing, breathing, and walking as their muscles continue to weaken. Drool drips from the mouths of dogs whose jaw muscles have deteriorated. One dog had so much difficulty eating and holding down his food because of the progressive weakening of his oesophageal muscles that vomit covered his face.

Some dogs eventually lose their ability to eat and must then be fed through a stomach tube. Surviving dogs will develop heart problems as the disease attacks and weakens the cardiac muscle. A laboratory employee admitted that the dogs suffer. He said, "I wouldn't like to be in the beagle's place. The suffering is real."

Bad Science. What have these painful experiments accomplished? After decades of testing on generations of debilitated and suffering dogs, there is still no cure or treatment to reverse the course of this terrible disease in humans. So children afflicted with DMD continue to suffer. Analysis of MD studies using dogs has shown that there are serious pitfalls when trying to apply those results to humans. In fact, there are even studies that have produced the opposite results in humans. There are better ways to help patients with muscle diseases. Cutting-edge techniques, such as utilising stem cells from DMD patients to develop disease-specific cures, developing ways to grow healthy human muscle cells that could be transplanted into patients with MD, and creating human-relevant drug-screening platforms, have led to the development of more promising therapies.

Téléthon: Helping or Hurting? The experiments at Alfort are funded by the French charity AFM-Téléthon. However, a laboratory representative admits that they could lose funding if the public were to see the condition of the dogs. "There's no question that if we showed them our myopathic dogs, we would risk losing a lot of money." As well they should. Please sign our petition to Téléthon urging the charity to stop funding these cruel experiments on dogs and to support only modern, non-animal studies.

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