August 26, 2019

Cárdenas Probes DHS About Alarming Rise in Painful Animal Tests

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressing concern about increases in the agency’s painful animal testing and seeking more information about the controversial practice.

“While there’s no doubt that research involving animals have at times led to revolutionary scientific discoveries, compelling arguments for reducing and replacing animal testing with alternative, sound scientific methods are growing,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “To this end, I sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to inquire about the concerning increase in rabbit testing and the extent of the department’s animal research. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to push federal agencies to move away from unnecessary painful testing and adopt more humane and efficient research methods that result in beneficial outcomes.”

In the letter to William Bryan, DHS’s Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Rep. Cárdenas writes that he is “alarmed by a more than ten-fold increase in DHS’s use of rabbits between FY13 and FY18…including for research that causes animals significant pain and distress that is intentionally unrelieved.”

Rep. Cárdenas began investigating DHS’s rabbit testing in April 2019 and notes in his letter that few details about this animal testing are publicly available. He also writes that federal agencies continue to recognize the failure of animal testing to translate to humans, which wastes time, money and animals’ lives.

Additionally, the Congressman’s letter praises DHS for eliminating its painful primate research, a practice that continues at other federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration.

“On behalf of our more than 2 million members in California and beyond, we applaud Congressman Cárdenas for holding federal agencies accountable for secretively abusing animals and tax dollars for wasteful experiments opposed by most Americans” said Noelle Callahan, public policy manager at taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project.”

Rep. Cárdenas is currently cosponsoring various bills aimed at curbing taxpayer-funded animal testing, and in recent years has helped end unnecessary government tests on cats and dogs. Cárdenas is an original cosponsor of the PUPPERS Act of 2019 and a cosponsor of the AFTER Act of 2019.