Rep. Titus leads bipartisan request for audit of federal animal research programs

Dec 13, 2016
Press Release

December 13, 2016

Las Vegas -- Congresswoman Dina Titus sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week requesting a study of costs and other details about animal research conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies. The letter was co-led by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, and signed by a bipartisan group of 11 other members.

The GAO audit request reads, in part:

“Recent cases of abuse, waste and accountability gaps documented by independent organizations have highlighted the need for additional scrutiny of intramural animal research programs at federal facilities….[W]e have discovered it is impossible to determine what federal animal research programs currently entail, what they cost and if they meet federal standards because of the limited and decentralized information available publicly.”

Rep. Titus’ letter requests a study to assess spending on animal research in government laboratories—currently estimated at more than $1 billion—and a critical review of existing systems for informing Congress and the public about the purpose, methods, cost and outcomes of government animal research. The request also seeks information about the number of animals used, how violations are reported, and investments in superior and cost-effective alternatives to animal testing.

Federal agencies acknowledge that much animal research is wasteful, but critical information needed to identify unnecessary projects is not publicly available.

The GAO request was co-signed by Reps. Beyer (D-VA), Costello (R-PA), Grijalva (D-AZ), McCollum (D-MN), Marino (R-PA), Paulsen (R-MN), Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Royce (R-CA), Simpson (R-ID), Tsongas (D-MA) and Walters (R-CA).

The full letter can be found here.