A newly introduced animal welfare law could help end painful medical research at the federal level that uses dogs as test subjects.

The “Preventing Animal Abuse and Waste Act of 2021, or PAAW Act, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC),  would prohibit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) from conducting or supporting any research that could lead to “death, irreversible damage, significant pain, or distress” to dogs.

The legislation, if passed,  would ban the agency from conducting any studies that fall into categories D or E under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official pain levels — or procedures that cause pain to the animals.  Category E protocols, notably, involve pain or distress “that is not relieved with anesthetics, analgesics and/or tranquilizer drugs or other methods for relieving pain or distress.”

The bill also requires that NIAID provide Congress with reports detailing all ongoing NIAID dog experiments — including how much money is being spent on them — and a report on its efforts to phase out dog testing.

The bipartisan bill follows an investigation by the White Coat Waste Project (WCW), an investigative nonprofit that has actively called out the NIAID for its questionable research practices.

“These wasteful animal experiments are opposed by a supermajority of taxpayers, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike,” said Justin Goodman, WCW’s Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy.

Mace said the PAAW Act will help ensure taxpayer dollars are put to better use.

“Americans across the political spectrum have been horrified to learn their tax dollars are being used to subsidize animal cruelty,” she said. “The PAAW Act will ensure taxpayer money is not used to support outdated and cruel experiments on dogs.”

Please write your representative today and urge them to support the PAAW Act. Find your local rep with a zip code search here.