For Immediate Release:
July 19, 2023
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – Following PETA’s 18-month investigation into U.S.-funded animal experimenters in Colombia that led to the shutdown of two animal laboratories, U.S. representatives Dina Titus (D-NV-01) and Troy Nehls (R-TX-22) have introduced the Cease Animal Research Grants Overseas (CARGO) Act, which would bar the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from funding experiments on animals in foreign laboratories.
The discredited Colombian labs received $17 million of American taxpayers’ money from NIH before authorities seized more than 100 monkeys and 180 mice and filed formal charges against the married couple running them. NIH doesn’t inspect the foreign labs it funds, require local authorities or third parties to inspect them, or verify the claims made by recipients in their grant applications and progress reports. This lack of oversight is a breeding ground for animal abuse like that in Colombia.
NIH has funded foreign laboratories in which experimenters addict dogs to opioids and force them to go through withdrawal, cause strokes in monkeys, remove mice’s eyes, infect bats with coronaviruses—potentially setting the stage for the next pandemic—feed amphetamines and alcohol to mice, force-feed toxic substances to beagles, and more.
Between 2011 and 2021, NIH gave approximately $2.2 billion to 200 foreign organizations to fund 1,357 grants and contracts involving experiments on animals. The money went to 45 countries, including China, Colombia, and Russia. The CARGO Act would terminate these giveaways, saving the lives of countless animals who would have otherwise been victimized in experiments.
“Too many NIH programs overseas either fail to hold up under intensive scrutiny or are exempt from that oversight altogether, resulting in the abuse of animals through experiments funded by taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Titus.
“From 2011 to 2021, the National Institute of Health (NIH) shelled out a staggering $2.2 billion in taxpayer money to foreign organizations, with a shocking 90% of these funds never audited by NIH. That is unacceptable,” said Rep. Nehls. “To make matters worse, NIH does not inspect the laboratories it funds. They simply shell out billions of dollars to organizations that could be torturing animals or wasting funds.”
“PETA thanks reps. Titus and Nehls for their strong leadership and urges everyone to contact their representatives and ask them to cosponsor this bill today,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.