Breaking news: EPA moves to end animal testing

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on September 10, 2019 with 34 Comments

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

In a landmark announcement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced plans to end all animal testing on dogs, mice, rabbits and other mammals for chemicals and pesticides in coming years. Instead, the agency will focus on investing in nonanimal alternative technologies that are more reliable and do not cause animal suffering.

The EPA plans to substantially reduce animal tests, including those it commissions in-house as well as those that it requires businesses to conduct, by 2025, and to end them altogether by 2035. The agency will also devote $4.25 million to the development of non-animal technologies (also known as new approach methodologies, or NAMs) at five universities. These approaches could include organ-on-a-chip technologies, cell cultures, computer modeling and other methods that are faster, cheaper and more predictive than time-consuming animal tests.

The agency’s decision to stop using results from mammal studies for approval of new chemicals will further spare even more animal lives. Companies seeking approval for a new chemical will be required to seek the consent of the EPA in order to carry out animal tests.

Today’s announcement follows the 2016 revision by Congress of the Toxic Substances Control Act – a law that regulates chemical safety in the United States. At that time, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund successfully advocated for key provisions, which mandated that animal testing should be minimized and non-animal methods and strategies developed and prioritized. The likely outcome will be to spare hundreds of thousands of animals from having chemicals rubbed onto their skin, dropped in their eyes or forced down their throats.

We have also lobbied the U.S. Congress to support increased appropriations for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development and its Computational Toxicology Program, to explore the use of mathematical and computer models to help assess chemical hazards and risks to human health and the environment. In a bipartisan approach, members of Congress have consistently prioritized key funding for these non-animal technologies.

In recent years, the EPA has taken decisive steps to reduce the use of animal testing for both chemicals and pesticides, and we are grateful to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for his continued commitment in this regard. In 2016, the agency released a guidance document allowing pesticide manufacturers to waive the need for skin toxicity tests by accepting information already obtained through other tests, and published a letter to stakeholders expressing its goal of significantly reducing the use of animals in acute toxicity tests for pesticides. In 2018, the EPA released a policy encouraging the use of non-animal test methods for determining whether pesticides and chemicals cause skin allergies. As part of the updated TSCA, the EPA, in 2018, published a strategic plan to promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods. The overall effect has been one of steady, sweeping progress toward a long-cherished goal for animal protection advocates – the end of experiments that cause pain and misery to animals.

We are excited to see the EPA reinforce its commitment with today’s pathbreaking announcement, which heralds a new era for animals in laboratories. We urge other government agencies, industries and stakeholders to join with the agency to end animal testing by investing in development and implementation of non-animal methods. The results will be improved human safety, more accurate and timely results, a better environment, and an end to animal suffering.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Categories
Animal Research and Testing, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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34 Comments

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  1. Eddie says:

    That is 15 years from now, why are they going to wait so long for the law to go into effect?

    • Mona Hlasny says:

      There are other non-animal testing regarding chemicals and toxins……animals should never be subjected to horrific, painful chemical experiments – in the first place! I know of no one who wants any chemicals or toxins in our environment, food, make up, cleaning products, etc. Who needs these horrific chemicals, anyway? Why should innocent, defenseless animals have to suffer because some idiot ordered testing on animals? DUH?

    • Kelly Ringueberg says:

      I agree Advances in medicine do you not need to use animals any longer it is in humane

  2. Vickie king says:

    No animal should be used this way NONE stop all animal testing everywhere

  3. Fran Shaheen says:

    Its about time!

  4. Steve Barney says:

    Can you believe it? Such good news!

  5. Colleen Leitheiser says:

    So it’s going to another 15 years, really? All these animals will suffer, again!! Wow. I don’t understand why. Why do animals have to suffer? All I can hear the cries and screaming going on. It’s a nightmare I could never erase. What about that suffering? A broken heart and bad nightmares, you got treatment for that? Sickening !!!

  6. Debra Calhoun says:

    Please stop testing on animals. This is inhumane. There are other ways to test products without harm or torturing animals. PLEASE

  7. Nancy Henebery says:

    Why does it have to be in the coming years? Why not end it now? The public that pay the taxes that run these tests don’t want this. It is unnecessary cruelty and does not help the animals that are being tortured now. Don’t stall – be brave and put into action now.

  8. Jennifer Marie Ford says:

    ANIMALS DNA IS NOTHING LIKE HUMANS. dogs cannot eat chocolate etc. do testing on humans- PAY THEM the medicines ,proceedures are for HUMANS TEST ON HUMANS.

  9. Ewa Urbanski says:

    Man kann es nur begrüßen. Im welchem Jahrhundert leben wir. Jegliche Tierversuche müssen sofort beendet werden.!!!!!!Ohne wenn und aber!!!!!

  10. Joan mcgehee says:

    Stop all the cruel testing on any animal. They Have Feelings like a human

  11. bettina CULLIN says:

    Stop! !!

  12. Jay Mandeville says:

    A wonderfully humane decision.

  13. Linda P. says:

    Fantastic news! Too bad the deadlines to end it aren’t sooner, but it’s still so great that it’ll happen.

  14. Dorie says:

    Thank you God

  15. Audrey Love says:

    In the coming years? Why not now? No time like the present.

  16. Mary Finelli says:

    “The agency’s decision to stop using results from mammal studies for approval of new chemicals will further spare even more animal lives.”

    Will it, or will they turn instead to birds, fishes, and invertebrates, as already is increasingly happening? They, too, are sentient beings, as science has shown, who are also deserving of our respect, consideration, and compassion.

  17. Delia McCormick says:

    Yes. Yes. Thank God. Our little friends have suffered over and over. Technology has been available WITHOUT torture for a long time. Now I hope it also includes primates and Leaving those poor Beagles alone also

  18. Connie Mclaughlin says:

    Another sixteen years to end these barbaric practices is too long. Also, it covers only chemical and pesticide experimentation, not medicines, health and beauty aids, etc. I applaud the positive steps taken, but they are just baby steps.

  19. Jennifer Fogg says:

    STOP THE BARBARIC INSANITY IN THE WORLD!!

  20. Bradley Geiter says:

    Needs to be sooner, like tomorrow.

  21. Cathy Gottlieb says:

    It’s about time!

  22. David M. Scobeee says:

    Vanessa, I know how strongly feel about the treatment of animals but have a memorial for those that gave thier lives so many humans could live! I’m against unneeded testing not against all testing. Keep Smiling! Dad=({;>)-

    • jess says:

      thank you david. most of us would not be alive today if it were not for animal testing. however, i agree, the unnecessary chemical testing should stop.

  23. Lora says:

    Let’s start now, not in the future. The animals have been suffering inhumane treatment for too long. Lets all monitor the progress and hold their feet to the fire.

  24. Cathy sunshine says:

    Reducing is not enough ending it all together ithays what they should be doing. Animals don’t hurt or kill for no reason but humans do and We say we are the intelligent species? Come on!!!! Look what we are doing to our planet we can’t blame the animals for ruining it.

  25. Ann Sturdevant says:

    complete bullshit the amount of time to implement this.. or any law for that matter…why do we the people put up with this… end it NOW!

  26. Jim says:

    This has to end now. They don;t have a voice so we have to step up for them and put an end to this cruelty.

  27. Alyssa says:

    Where are we in the fight for this. I’m happy to boycott and bring awareness, but what is the best way for locals to help this fight legally and locally? Is there a team working together to fight this case and how can we best donate our time and efforts?

  28. KGreen says:

    Unfortunately, only ‘reduce animal testing’. This title is misleading.

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