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In a landmark victory for animal welfare and ethical scientific practices, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the closure of its largest primate laboratory and the cessation of all monkey testing and breeding programs. This momentous achievement is attributed to the relentless efforts of the White Coat Waste Project (WCW), a government watchdog organization dedicated to ending wasteful and inhumane animal experimentation. Through strategic campaigns, grassroots mobilization, and effective lobbying, WCW has successfully transformed the landscape of primate testing and compelled the FDA to abandon its unethical practices.

The roots of this victory trace back to 2016 when WCW exposed a shocking $5.5 million FDA experiment that involved addicting baby monkeys to nicotine at the National Center for Toxicology Research (NCTR) in Arkansas – the FDA’s largest primate laboratory. This revelation ignited a wave of public outrage and catalyzed WCW’s mission to eradicate such cruelty from scientific research.

Through tireless investigation, a robust grassroots campaign, and strategic lobbying, WCW achieved its first milestone in 2018: the discontinuation of nicotine addiction testing on monkeys, accompanied by the unprecedented step of retiring the surviving primates to a sanctuary. This victory underscored the power of public advocacy and set the stage for even more significant change.

WCW continued to expose the wasteful and inhumane practices at NCTR. Their documentation revealed that NCTR persisted in conducting experiments on nearly 200 primates annually. The experiments involved subjecting baby primates to solitary confinement in tiny cages, forcibly addicting them to substances like nicotine, amphetamines, and Ritalin, and separating newborns from their distressed mothers, leading to their premature deaths before they were even a week old.

From 2019 onwards, WCW effectively collaborated with members of both major political parties in Congress to incorporate language into the FDA’s spending bills, mandating a reduction in taxpayer-funded primate testing. This multi-year bipartisan effort demonstrated that there was a shared commitment to ending unnecessary cruelty and wasteful government spending.

Even as recently as September 2022, WCW’s dedication persisted as they filed a lawsuit against the FDA to access documents related to primate experiments at NCTR. The organization’s unyielding pursuit of transparency and accountability laid the groundwork for the monumental announcement that followed.

In a significant development, the FDA Commissioner’s office officially communicated to WCW that NCTR’s primate testing and breeding program had been retired in December 2022. Anthony Bellotti, President, and Founder of WCW, expressed his pride in the organization’s achievements, “We’re proud to have scored this victory in the war on waste by shutting down the FDA’s biggest primate lab. Since 2016, the White Coat Waste Project has been leading the grassroots and lobbying campaign to get the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) out of the monkey business where baby primates were locked alone in tiny cages, forcibly addicted to nicotine, amphetamines, and Ritalin, and newborns were torn from their traumatized mothers and killed before they’re a week old. When we first launched our investigation and campaign, NCTR’s primate experimentation was at its peak, with over 200 monkeys abused at the lab each year—now, it’s zero, and the FDA Commissioner’s office has stated that the program was retired, and NCTR reports that it’s switching to alternatives. A majority of Democrats and Republicans agree: taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for cruel and wasteful government spending on primate tests, and we’ll continue to make sure they don’t have to and that NCTR doesn’t start monkeying around again. Stop the money. Stop the madness!”

U.S. Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA) also lauded this groundbreaking achievement. Boyle, who has been a vocal advocate for Animal rights, said “Painful testing on primates has no place in the 21st century when superior alternatives are available, and I am thrilled that following my years of advocacy with the White Coat Waste Project, the FDA has finally shut down all its primate experiments at the National Center for Toxicological Research. I will continue to lead bipartisan efforts in Washington to stop the abuse of primates and other animals in outdated, expensive, and unnecessary government experiments.”

Sign this petition to ban monkey testing!

Tiny Rescue Animal Collection
Tiny Rescue Animal Collection

Empty The Cages Sweatshirt By Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

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