NAVS has taken note of a disturbing trend—that experimentation on nonhuman primates (NHPs) is on the rise. The number of nonhuman primates used in research has increased over 30% in just the last few years, and their use is at an all-time high.
Meanwhile, important conversations about the ethical issues associated with this research and its scientific necessity are lacking.
On behalf of NAVS, Executive Director Kenneth Kandaras contacted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins to express NAVS’ concern and to ask the NIH to provide more specific incentives and/or funding priorities to encourage scientists to develop more sophisticated, human-relevant models to replace animal use.
In response, we heard from Dr. Carrie Wolinetz, from the NIH Office of Science Policy. She stated that “the rise in the use of certain NHPs is not surprising and represents both the state of the science and the importance of NHPs in research.”
She also cited a 2016 NIH workshop, which was held at the request of Congress to address the bioethics of nonhuman primate research. But instead of focusing on the ethics of using nonhuman primates, the workshop focused on justifying the use of these animals; not one of the attending bioethicists was given an opportunity to present during the day-long workshop.
Dr. Wolinetz indicated that she would take our views into consideration in determining whether there is a need for renewed examination of this matter—which there is.
Please contact Dr. Wolinetz to let her know that you are not supportive of your taxpayer dollars being used to fund experiments on nonhuman primates.