Ryan Moore is a writer, songwriter and social media strategist. Ryan has adopted a cat and rabbits that were victims of animal testing and a dog from a puppy mill that was shut down. He is @RyanMoore on Twitter and Instagram.
Animals have an ally in the Trump administration
By Ryan Moore
On Sept. 10, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a memorandum calling for the agency to make the reduction of animal testing a priority.
Tens of millions of animals are used yearly to test drugs, cosmetics and other household items. Dozens of species are used in experiments with the majority of them having been purpose-bred. Most animals are killed at the end of the experiments, if they live to the end of the study. In 2019, we no longer need to test toothpaste, shampoo and eye shadow on animals. The Food and Drug Administration does not require the use of animals in cosmetic testing.
When trying to combat human diseases it is common to genetically manipulate mice, but human and mouse genes obviously behave differently, and 90% of drugs that test safe and effective in animals later fail in human clinical trials. And it’s not just mice that are being used in experiments in the United States and in other countries. Tens of thousands of dogs and cats are still being used in experiments in the United States today. Dozens of dog breeds are used but beagles are the breed of choice for most researchers as they tend not to bite when they are being hurt. Using human cells and computer models is clearly more compassionate and these methods are also proving to be more effective.
The EPA’s memorandum calls for the agency to reduce funding of mammal studies by 30% by 2025 and eliminate all mammal study funding by 2035. The memorandum also “directs the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and the Office of Research and Development to prioritize ongoing efforts, and to direct existing resources, toward additional activities that will demonstrate measurable impacts in the reduction of animal testing while ensuring protection of human health and the environment.” The EPA further announced $4.25 million in funding for the development and use of alternative test methods to reduce, refine and/or replace vertebrate animal testing. And it’s about time. Animal testing is needlessly cruel and obsolete.
The Trump administration should receive full credit for leading this ongoing campaign against animal cruelty. Trump and his administration are pushing common sense changes that benefit animals, and the president is getting virtually no praise for it. To the president and his supporters, it’s a common refrain.
The president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump is a longtime, outspoken and hardworking advocate for animals. This spring, Lara Trump along with former Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Florida Republican Reps. Brian Mast and Matt Gaetz backed a federal crackdown on inhumane puppy mill practices, including commercial puppy breeding operations.
In December 2018 President President Trump signed the “Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act” into law in a groundbreaking victory for animals in the United States and the world. Before this was signed into law, it was still actually legal in 44 states to eat dogs and cats. The law prohibits the shipping, sale and transportation of animals for the “purpose of slaughter for human consumption.”
On Nov. 25, Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, which criminalizes certain acts of animal cruelty into federal law. Trump and fellow Republicans have also backed other animal welfare initiatives including a move to reverse euthanasia plans for horses on federal lands and “pets for vets,” which is a program to help our veterans who are suffering from PTSD and other ailments by teaming them up with shelter animals. The program is a big win-win to save and help veterans and shelter animals.
Helping animals is a nonpartisan issue with bipartisan support. Neither Republicans nor Democrats want animals to suffer needlessly, and we need to work together where we agree instead of just blaming the opposing party and wanting them to fail. A lot more needs to be done to reduce and end animal suffering in the United States, but it is abundantly clear that animals now have a strong and sincere advocate in the White House.