(CBS Local) — Animal rights group like the Humane Society Legislative Fund tend to give Democrats better marks than Republicans.

But one group, the White Coat Waste Project, is trying to win over Republicans to reduce the number abused animals in federally-funded labs.

“We’re not an animal welfare or animal rights group,” Anthony Bellotti, president and founder of White Coat Waste Project, recently told Splice Today. “We’re a single-issue taxpayer watchdog group focused on government-funded animal experiments.”

The National Institutes of Health alone spends an estimated $15 billion annually on animal testing, roughly half of its entire research budget, Alyssa Hackbarth wrote in an opinion piece Thursday in The Weekly Standard.

At the same time, she writes, most of biomedical research — especially animal testing — is wasteful because 90 percent of drugs and medical treatment that pass animal tests fail in people because they are ineffective or toxic.

Hackbarth writes that it’s only natural for Republican lawmakers to cut the waste and save animals. And she cites several examples of them doing so, including President Trump’s signature on bipartisan legislation to restrict and defund invasive and deadly dog testing at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This may be the issue that lawmakers have been looking for to facilitate more cooperation in Washington.

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