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Rice, Katko Provision Supporting Adoption for Research Animals Included in FY 2021 Labor-HHS-ED Appropriations Bill

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Washington, July 13, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – The House Appropriations Committee included a provision authored by Representatives Kathleen Rice (NY-04) and John Katko (NY-24) supporting post-research animal adoption in its FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill (and accompanying report) which passed through committee on July 13, 2020. The provision would set a federal standard for encouraging post-research animal adoption at laboratories conducting research with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.

Current federal policy guarantees that animals used in research conducted by NIH are given consideration for post-research adoption, ensuring that animals are not euthanized if suitable for adoption. However, this policy applies only to NIH intramural research – research conducted by NIH itself – and does not extend to NIH-funded extramural research – research conducted at outside laboratories with NIH funding. Rice and Katko’s provision extends the current animal adoption policy governing intramural research to cover extramural research as well.

“Every healthy animal that is no longer needed for research should have the chance to be placed in a loving home,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “Post-research animal adoption is already being carried out successfully within NIH and at research institutions across the country, and I am pleased our language to extend this policy to laboratories conducting NIH-funded research has been included in this year’s appropriations bill.”

“Together with Rep. Rice, I was proud to introduce the Humane Retirement Act, bipartisan legislation that establishes a uniform adoption policy across all Public Health Service (PHS) research institutions,” said Rep. John Katko. “Inclusion of language from this measure in the appropriations bill is a positive step forward toward ensuring animals used in federal research have the opportunity for placement into safe homes.”

“Animals that have contributed to critical research deserve happy, healthy lives,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “I am proud to work with my fellow New Yorkers on this long overdue extension of the current post-research animal adoption policy, and I thank them for prioritizing the welfare of animals at laboratories conducting federally-funded research.”

“The Animal Welfare Institute is grateful to Representatives Kathleen Rice and John Katko for recognizing the need for the National Institutes of Health to extend its policy on retirement of animals in research to animals used in extramural research, and we appreciate that the subcommittee has included language in the HHS appropriations bill,” said Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute. “Upon the completion of research, animals—irrespective of species—deserve the opportunity to live out the remainder of their lives in a situation that allows them to thrive.”

“Society has no reason to deny healthy and adoptable animals once used in research and testing a chance to enjoy long and happy lives with loving families.” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Representative Rice’s efforts in the appropriations process have helped secure language to make such adoptions possible, and that’s the right thing for a compassionate nation to do. We hope to see this language included in the full House Appropriations package.”

"We are exceedingly grateful to Representatives Kathleen Rice, John Katko, and the entire Appropriations Committee, led by Chair Nita Lowey, for this language" said Mike Ryan, Director of Policy & Government Affairs at the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS). "By addressing extramural research, this provision will help ensure that the majority of animals used in NIH-funded research are given a shot at adoption instead of simply being automatically euthanized when research is complete." 

The FY 2021 Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill was passed by the House Appropriations Committee. It will now head to the floor for a full vote by the House of Representatives.

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