News & Alerts

February 2013 eNEWS - Military training reform, cosmetics bans, and more!

In this issue ...

U.S. military and training using animals
New cruelty-free cosmetics laws
Animals Asia Vietnam bears saved from eviction
The last 1,000 chimpanzees in research
... and more!

U.S. military asked to phase out training using animals

medic trainingPresident Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the Defense Department to initiate a strategy and timeline for transitioning to human-based training methods instead of using animals in military drills and combat injury training.

Read the relevant section of the Act here.

Military drills include shooting, stabbing, burning, and dismembering of animals (usually pigs and goats), harming and killing thousands each year.

“Non-animal training methods must be the standard for military, as well as that of all other professional medical training,” says NEAVS President Theodora Capaldo, EdD. “The Act signals that the federal government acknowledges animal use is no longer sacrosanct – an important nod to the fact that anatomical simulators and other models can and will lead to ending the cruel use of thousands of animals each year.

Read more from a Fayetteville Observer article about animal use at Fort Bragg, where an estimated 300 goats are slaughtered each month.

Animal-tested cosmetics bans go into effect

As of Jan. 1, all products tested on animals are no longer allowed in Israel.

As of March 11, all personal care products and their ingredients sold and manufactured in the E.U. must be cruelty-free.

Both the E.U. and Israeli laws expand earlier bans on cosmetic product testing on animals within their borders. The new laws now ban any animal-tested product manufactured worldwide.

Meanwhile, the government of India is exploring a cosmetic animal testing ban of its own. If India passes a ban, there will be more than a billion people worldwide using only cruelty-free products.

NEAVS, in addition to its U.S.-based work, is part of international coalitions such as the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics' Leaping Bunny Program and Cruelty Free International, who all seek to end animal testing worldwide. While we celebrate these worldwide victories, we know it’s long overdue for the U.S. to follow suit. Learn how you can go cruelty-free through Leaping Bunny shopping guides and free mobile apps highlighting certified companies.

In related news, the Paul Mitchell hair care company launched a partnership with Cruelty Free International and has pledged not to sell products in China until it ends animal testing requirements. Sign a petition to show your support for companies who do not sell in China.

NEAVS grants for students at alternatives conference

In January, 13 students intent on careers in alternatives to animal experimentation, testing, and use in education or training attended the 1st International Conference of Alternatives to Animal Experimentation of the Portuguese Society for Humane Education (SPEdH) in Almada, Portugal through the generosity of a NEAVS grant program.

According to Constança Carvalho, a conference organizer, students came away with new understandings about animal use and many said they would pursue careers in alternatives. One attendee noted, "I had given up the idea of becoming a researcher after graduation because I didn't want to use animals and now I realize I can do more for animals than being a conscientious objector. I can work in the development and validation of alternatives."

NEAVS 2013 grant winners: Sofia Esteves and Andriana Cabecinhas, marine biology and biotechnology; Tiago Gonçalves, veterinary medicine; Gonçalo Silva, Manuel Mendes, and Célia Feijão, biology; Maria Rocha, Liliane Scarpin, and Ana Oliveira, medicine; Carlota Pina, law; Mafalda Torres, chemistry; Inês Martins, nursing; and Susana Lopes, psychology.

Animals Asia Vietnam bears saved from eviction

ShimaLast month we received news that Animals Asia’s moon bear rescue center was no longer being evicted from their Vietnam park location! For more than three months, the future of the sanctuary was in jeopardy as Vietnamese officials wanted the land in Tam Dao National Park for a wildlife park and tourism.

Animals Asia cares for more than 100 bears rescued from bear bile farms, where they live a life of torture in tiny cages with open wounds so their bile can be continually extracted. The bile is then used in traditional Eastern medicine.

With the help of supporters like you, NEAVS and others joined a coalition to save the sanctuary through petitions, advocacy, and letters to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

NEAVS proudly helps fund Animals Asia, its rescue efforts, and work to end the barbaric bear farm practice. We’ve made a lifetime care commitment to Shima, pictured above.

To help us support Animals Asia, earmark your donation to our Sanctuary Fund with the words “for Shima.” 100% of all these donations will go toward the bears.

NEAVS in the News

  • NEAVS Science Director Jarrod Bailey, PhD comments at Earth in Transition on a new study showing mice are useless in combating diseases:

"How much more evidence do we need before we move away from using animals, toward demonstrably superior and more humane alternatives?"
Read more…

  • NEAVS responds to Mark Bittman's New York Times article “The Cosmetic Wars”:

“Animal use continues for the economic gain of the “industrial animal testing industry” – not its scientific worth. To protect humans, Bittman would serve readers better by understanding that ending the use of animals would do just that.”
Read more…

  • NEAVS President Theodora Capaldo, EdD is quoted in the Toronto Star article “U.S. moves toward curbing research on chimpanzees”:

“When we looked at the data, we saw that chimpanzees were not being used in research but rather were languishing in labs at an enormous taxpayer expense and at an expense to the quality of their lives.”
Read more…

  • NEAVS’ guest blog post at Harvard Law School’s Bill of Health “Inadequate laws don’t – but research alternatives will – protect animals in labs”:

“The plight of chimpanzees in U.S. labs highlights the suffering of all animals in laboratories. The scientific arguments highlight that even a species as closely related to humans as chimpanzees is a poor, limited, and even dangerous model by which to study human health and the inferiority of all animal research compared to modern methods.”
Read more…

NEAVS paper published in ‘ALAW’

ALAW“Implementing the CHIMP Act: The Case for Federally Promulgated Criteria to Immediately Retire Chimpanzees from Laboratories to Sanctuary” was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Welfare Law (ALAW, Autumn 2012/Winter 2013). The paper outlines proposed criteria Health and Human Services (HHS) should use in determining when a chimpanzee is considered “not needed” for research and stresses the urgency of retiring chimpanzees now – as many are elderly, sick, traumatized, and have little time left.

Website tracks ‘Last 1,000’ chimpanzees

As we move closer toward the retirement to sanctuary of all chimpanzees in U.S. labs, a recently launched website has been dedicated to the final 1,000 who are still languishing. includes the names (when known) of all chimpanzees known to be in labs, their birthdates, and laboratory location.

According to the site, 87 of the last 1,000 are currently in sanctuary.

The site is the project of Wesleyan Professor Lori Gruen, who had previously created a page for the first 100 chimpanzees ever to be used in the U.S. Dr. Gruen says, “One of the ways to acknowledge the debt we owe these chimpanzees is to recognize them as individuals, not as nameless tools or a mass of ‘research chimpanzees.’”

For more information on chimpanzees now in U.S. laboratories, please visit our “Who’s There” page.