The “PUPPERS” Act, H.R. 3197, a bill that would prohibit the use of canines in biomedical research at the Veterans Administration by eliminating required funding, is misguided and, if enacted, would be harmful to both humans and animals.
Esteemed scientific associations (listed below) wrote to Congressional representatives, in opposition to H.R. 3197, explaining that while scientists embrace efforts to reduce the number of animals needed in research and to replace animals when possible, animal models are still required before drugs or devices are sufficiently proven to be both safe and efficacious for their intended use. While the number of dogs involved in biomedical research has been reduced, their contribution remains critical in finding cures for certain diseases and disorders, like the previously incurable and fatal genetic disorder affecting skeletal muscles in both humans and dogs, called Myotubular Myopathy (MTM), recently described here.
Canines are currently playing a vital role in the moonshot to end cancer, aging and Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and most recently the first FDA-approved artificial pancreas was brought to fruition because of work at the VA. Additionally, 22 of the 25 most prescribed medications were brought to patients’ bedsides thanks to research with canines.
Quote from letter to Congressional representatives from:
- American Academy of Neurology (AAN);
- American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS);
- American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) ;
- American Neurological Association (ANA);
- American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP);
- American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET);
- American Thoracic Society (ATS);
- Americans for Medical Progress (AMP);
- Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY);
- Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO);
- Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC);
- Association of American Universities (AAU);
- Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC);
- Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU);
- Baylor College of Medicine California Biomedical Research Association (CBRA);
- Coalition for the Life Sciences The College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Inc. Comparative Biosciences, Inc. Council On Governmental Relations (COGR);
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB);
- IACUC 101 Series Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR);
- Michigan Society for Medical Research (MISMR);
- National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR);
- National Association of Veteransâ€™ Research & Education Foundations (NAVREF);
- New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research (NJABR);
- North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR)
- Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR);
- Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU);
- Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research (PSBR);
- RxGen SNBL USA, Ltd. Society for Neuroscience (SfN);
- Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR);
- States United for Biomedical Research (SUBR);
- Texas Society for Biomedical Research (TSBR); and
- University of California, Los Angeles University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Washington University in St. Louis.
Our ability to study and find cures for many human and animal diseases and disorders would not have been obtainable without studies involving animals, including the following medical achievements:
- the cardiac pacemaker;
- the first liver transplant;
- nicotine patch;
- the discovery of insulin;
- vaccinations against canine distemper, parvovirus, rabies, coronavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, measles, and hepatitis;
- prevention of canine intestinal parasitic diseases, fleas, ticks, mites and mange.
Like the entities listed above I look forward to a time when biomedical research does not involve animal testing, but we currently are not knowledgeable or scientifically advanced enough to entirely replace animals with other models.
Therefore, federally proposed bills, including H.R. 3197 and a similar amendment offered by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) to the Defense, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development National Security Appropriations Act, 2018, if adopted, would only serve to harm both human and animal health, and should therefore be opposed.