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January 29, 2015

National Congress to Vote on 16.7 Million Reais for Alternatives to Animal Testing Next Week

Humane Society International congratulates members of congress for amending the budget in favour of animals, science and consumers

Humane Society International

  • Brazilian Representative Ricardo Tripoli (PSDB – SP) suporting funding for alternatives to animal testing. Carolina Galvani/HSI

Next week the Brazilian Congress will vote to approve a substantial investment worth R$16.7 million in ethically and scientifically superior alternatives to animal testing. The proposed investment is a result of a series of parliamentary amendments to the 2015 budget of the Union. The amendments, made by individual Congress members as well as the Commission of Science and Technology of the Senate, guarantees funding to the Rede Nacional de Métodos Alternativos, and comes after a series of meetings organised by Humane Society International. HSI welcomes the initiative as vital to develop state-of-the-art scientific methods, and congratulates the Congress members for their vision.

Antoniana Ottoni, HSI’s legislative officer said: “We are grateful to members of the Congress for engaging in such constructive discussions with Humane Society International. Increased funding for alternatives to animal testing is welcome news for science, the animals and consumer protection because it could potentially bring to Brazil modern in vitro test methods not previously used here. This reflects the growing global recognition that in vitro tests are more efficient, human-relevant and ethical than the animal tests they replace. We’re confident these amendments will be confirmed by the plenary next week for the final vote of the budget.”

Representative Ricardo Tripoli (PSDB – SP), who made an individual amendment worth R$ 1.5 million, said: “For the first time in the history of the federal budget we can present individual amendments to promote the research and the implementation of alternative methods to the use of animals in scientific experiments. It’s a step forward and it represents a concrete hope in our attempts to change the sad reality that we know. We will closely monitor the progress and evaluation of these amendments to ensure that these resources are effectively spent in favour of animals.”

An amendment worth R$ 15 million made by the Commission of Science and Technology of the Senate received support from Senators Anibal Diniz (PT – AC), Angela Portela (PT – RR), Valdir Raupp (PMDB – RO), João Capiberibe (PSB – AP) and Lídice da Mata (PSB – BA). The 2015 budget is expected to be voted on the first week of February.

Senator João Capiberibe (PSB – AP), member of the the Commission of Science and Technology, said: "Technologies that guarantee human security are indispensable. Besides being very cruel, we already know that research models using animals are outdated and obsolete. The replacement of animal models in scientific and academic research is necessary and fully viable. I believe in this, so we are working to encourage this practice so that greater investments are directed towards research without animals. I congratulate Humane Society International which has been a pioneer in this fight."

HSI will then work with the government to ensure that the funds are liberated as soon as possible.

HSI is one of the world’s leading organisations advancing the replacement of animal tests with alternative methods. Animal tests not only cause animal suffering, but using other species such as mice and dogs to test chemicals or pharmaceuticals when their biological and physiological responses can be so different to those of humans is also scientifically questionable. By contrast, recent technology advancements have made available a range of state-of-the-art tools, including a growing suite of in vitro tests that are transforming chemical and pharmaceutical safety by allowing scientists to more accurately study effects on human biology at a molecular and cellular level. 

Contact: Helder Constantino, +55 (21) 9 8342 4163, hconstantino@hsi.org

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