Rep. Calvert and Senator Shaheen Welcome GAO Report on the Use of Animals in Research

September 24, 2019
Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) welcomed the results of a just completed Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the efforts of federal agencies to find alternatives to animal testing on the research it conducts or funds. The study found that agencies have a variety of methods in place to ensure researchers consider animal testing alternatives, but lack metrics to demonstrate whether these methods affect the use of animals in research.   

“The GAO report released today confirms that more data and transparency is needed from federal agencies to ensure we are protecting taxpayers and animals by utilizing alternatives to animal testing,” said Rep. Calvert. “The report demonstrates the need for more information on how such efforts are contributing to a reduction in the use of animals in research.  I urge Congress to pass my legislation, the FACT Act, requiring federal agencies regularly disclose information about the usage of animals in research they conduct or fund. The recent announcement by EPA regarding the steps it is taking to better utilize and develop alternatives to animal testing demonstrates that we are making progress for taxpayers and animals. I hope we can continue this positive trend by enacting the recommendations made by the GAO.”

“I appreciate the GAO heeding the bipartisan calls in Congress to conduct this investigation and explore alternatives to animal testing in scientific research,” said Senator Shaheen. “I urge the Department of Health and Human Services to implement this recommendation to better assess federal agencies' ability to measure progress on the reporting of animal research in federal laboratories so the government can identify and make necessary improvements.”

As the immediate past-Chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Calvert joined Senator Shaheen in asking the GAO in 2016 to provide guidance on reporting animal use and how federal agencies share animal use data with the public. That study was completed in the summer of 2018. Later, Rep. Calvert and Senator Shaheen requested a follow-up study, the results of which were released today.

Earlier this year, Rep. Calvert reintroduced the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act, H.R. 249. The FACT Act would improve reporting by EPA, FDA, NIH, USDA and other government agencies about their efforts to replace inefficient, multi-million-dollar animal tests with faster, less costly and more effective alternative methods for assessing the safety of chemicals, drugs, foods, cosmetics and other substances.