Animal Wellness Action endorses​

Congresswoman Elaine Luria — an Animal Protection Champion​

Animal Wellness Action, one of the nation’s leading public policy organizations devoted to animal welfare, is pleased to endorse Congresswoman Rep. Elaine Luria in her re-election campaign for the Second Congressional District of Virginia. She’s a stalwart advocate for animals and she’s the co-author of one of the most important bills in Congress – the FDA Modernization Act, H.R. 2565. Virginia cannot afford to lose a champion like her.

FDA Modernization Act. With Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan, Rep. Luria is the co-leader of the FDA Modernization Act, which is perhaps the most important national policy proposal 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 where appropriate. She worked to pass this bill in the House as an amendment to a larger FDA policy reform. But it must pass the House one more time, now that the U.S. Senate passed the legislation unanimously at the end of September.

The change in law will allow drug sponsors to apply state-of-the-art tools to predict how humans will respond to their drugs in clinical trials, thereby reducing attrition, shortening time to market, saving millions of dollars, lowering drug prices, providing safer and more effective drugs for American consumers, and reducing the number of animals used for tests. The FFDCA expressly requires traditional animal testing based on the assumption that animal tests are predictive of safety and efficacy in humans. Test data show that the use of animals is 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. Broader use of human biology-based test methods would better predict how humans will respond to drugs in clinical trials. She is on the cusp of getting this legislation passed, along with Rep. Buchanan and Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., the leaders of the Senate companion measure.

Halting Horse Slaughter. Rep. Luria is a cosponsor of the Save 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 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 on board with the effort to halt the barbaric practice of shark finning. This bill expands upon the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 and the Shark Conservation Act of 2010. While those laws banned shark finning and the transportation of fins on U.S. vessels, this bill would strengthen current law by prohibiting the trade of shark fins. Shark populations are in crisis because of the demand for 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.

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. She was an early supporter of efforts to pass the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act to ban race-day doping of horses.

Rep. Luria is able to work across party lines to help get policies done to advance animal welfare.  There’s no better example of that than the FDA Modernization Act and her effort to stop needless, painful experiments on as many as 59,000 beagles a year.

Paid for by Animal Wellness Action, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 611 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E. #136, Washington, D.C.  20003