AFTER Act Would Save the Lives of Animals Used in Government Testing

Every year in the United States, at taxpayers’ expense, government laboratories subject tens of thousands of dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits and other animals to experiments. When they complete their experiments, the labs kill most of these animals, regardless of whether or not the animals are healthy.

To help save their lives, Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) have introduced bipartisan legislation called the Animal Freedom from Testing, Experimentation and Research (AFTER) Act. This bill would require all federal agencies to have policies allowing animals used in lab testing to be adopted into homes or retired to sanctuaries instead of killing them afterward.

The AFTER Act would apply to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency and all other federal agencies. Currently the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is the only agency that has a policy, enacted just last year, that allows its retired lab animals to be adopted out.

The legislation would include all animals protected under the Animal Welfare Act, which, unfortunately, excludes mice, rats and birds.

In April, Boyle and a group of bipartisan lawmakers along with the White Coat Waste Project (WCW), a nonprofit whose mission is to end government animal testing, successfully got the USDA to end cruel testing on kittens. For the first time in the USDA’s history, the 16 kittens were adopted out to agency staff.

“It turns out the problem is pervasive among many government agencies, not just the USDA,” Boyle told CNN. “The reality is there are plenty of people out there who would love to care for these animals if they are given the opportunity.”

The AFTER Act was inspired by a coonhound named Violet, according to the WCW, which is calling the legislation “Violet’s Law” in her honor. When she was less than a year old, Violet was subjected to surgeries at an unnamed government lab in Washington, D.C., The Dodo reports.

Julie Germany, a WCW board member, volunteered her time at the lab to play with the dogs and offer them some love. She told The Dodo that Violet had the biggest, saddest eyes she’d ever seen, and she promised the dog she’d get her out of there.

Fortunately, Germany was able to adopt Violet when the experiments ended. “Loving Violet and helping her adjust to life outside the lab has been a great inspiration,” she told The Dodo.

The AFTER Act/Violet’s Law is a very important step forward in saving the lives of thousands of animals subjected to experiments funded by American taxpayers. An even bigger step forward would be to stop using live animals altogether. This is the 21st century, after all, and technology is now available that can eliminate the need for this.

Take Action

Please sign and share this petition urging U.S. Congress Members to help save lab animals’ lives by supporting the AFTER Act.

Join over 250,000 people who have signed this petition urging Congress to pass the PUPPERS (Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species) Act, which would prohibit the VA from performing cruel experiments on live dogs.

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. Youll find Care2s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


joan silaco
joan silaco5 days ago


hELEN hEARFIELD24 days ago


Angela K
Angela K27 days ago

Petition already signed & shared

Tracy Marotta
Tracy Marotta27 days ago

Animals are not ours to use, eat, wear, etc

Veronica B
Veronica B27 days ago

What is the Problem with C2?????All the Actions are not working!!!!!!!

Veronica B
Veronica B27 days ago

Petition Signed on May 25,2019.Thank you

Judith K
Judith K27 days ago

I have a better idea. Quit using our pet animals for lab testing altogether!

Doris F
Doris F27 days ago

@C2...what happens with C2 ?????
All actions are break down ! hmmmpfff :-(

Nancy BIELECKIE28 days ago

I think this is a step in the right direction, however, I would like to see testing on animals seen for what it really is, animal abuse, and prosecuted as such!

Shirley S
Shirley S28 days ago

Animal testing should be BANNED.