Press Release

Rep. Elaine Luria Wins Endorsement from Animal Wellness Action in Re-Election Campaign

Washington, D.C. – Today Animal Wellness Action announced its endorsement of U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Virginia, in her re-election effort for the 2nd Congressional District of Virginia. 

With Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Rep. Luria is the co-author of the FDA Modernization Act, which is perhaps the most consequential national policy proposal ever to reduce animal testing. Her bill, H.R. 2565, would eliminate a Depression-era requirement for animal testing in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (21 USC § 355) and to allow for innovative 21st-century human-relevant test methods for drug screening where appropriate. 

Luria worked with key members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee to pass her bill in the House as an amendment to H.R. 7667, the Food and Drug Amendments Act of 2022, by a vote of 392-28 But it must pass the House one more time now that the U.S. Senate passed a companion measure unanimously as a stand-alone provision at the end of September. Her bill has 58 Democrat and 43 Republican cosponsors, making it the most ideologically balanced animal welfare bill in the 117th Congress.

“Rep. Luria has demonstrated a rare ability to work across party lines to help get policies done to advance animal welfare,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action. “There’s no better example of her effective advocacy than her progress in advancing the FDA Modernization Act, offering the prospect of halting the use of as many as 59,000 beagles a year and millions of other animals.”

Test data show that the use of animals is typically not predictive of the human response to drugs, with 90 to 95 percent of drugs and vaccines found safe in animal tests failing during human clinical trials. The cost for developing a single new drug may be from $1 – $6 billion, while the average timeline of development of a potential drug and vaccine from the lab to market is 10—15 years. Still most diseases have no treatment available, and adverse drug reactions are the fourth highest cause of death in the U.S.

Rep. Luria is also a champion on other animal protection issues. 

  • Halting Horse Slaughter: Rep. Luria is a cosponsor of theSave America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act that would permanently end the slaughter of American equines on U.S. soil and the transport of equines across state and federal lines for that purpose. 
  • Big Cat Public Safety Act: The Congresswoman cosponsored and voted for the Big Cat Public Safety Act that passed the House in July by a vote of 274 – 137 and would ban the private ownership of dangerous big cats as well as the practice of ‘cub petting’ that continues to fuel overbreeding and unfunded mandates on animal rescues.
  • Banning shark finning.  She’s also cosponsored legislation to halt any sale in the United States of shark fins, mainly used to produce a tasteless soup.Shark populations are in crisis because of the global demand for their fins. The measure passed the House with 310 votes in 2019 and cleared the Senate Commerce Committee (Roll Call #634). It has been included as an amendment to a larger economic development bill and stands a strong chance of being enacted before the year ends.
  • Horse soring and other horse abuses: Rep. Luria is a cosponsor of the PAST Act to ban the barbaric practice of horse soring, which involves injuring the front feet and legs of Tennessee Walking horses to cause them so much pain when they put their feet down that they have an exaggerated high-stepping gait.  It’s the equivalent of walking on hot coals. 

Animal Wellness Action has conducted an Independent Expenditure campaign for her and viewers in the 2nd District are seeing this digital advertisement.  The ad highlights the connection between animal cruelty and other forms of human violence. It also highlights her leadership on the FDA Modernization Act.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News