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EPA Announces Plans To End Animal Testing On Mammals By 2035

by | September 16, 2019

Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to eliminate the practice of animal testing on mammals by 2035.

A memorandum outlining the organization’s goals was signed this month by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who also made a statement on the matter.

“Today’s memo directs the agency to aggressively reduce animal testing, including reducing mammal study requests and funding 30% by 2025 and completely eliminating them by 2035,” it reads.

“We are also awarding $4.25 million to advance the research and development of alternative test methods for evaluating the safety of chemicals that will minimize, and hopefully eliminate, the need for animal testing.”

University
John Hopkins University (Source: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com)

The funding will be distributed between five US universities.

“I think this is really taking action,” said Dr. Thomas Hartung, Director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at John Hopkins — one of the institutions set to participate.

“I was very surprised. I did not expect such a strong position.” 

The other four schools include Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Oregon State University and University of California Riverside.

The move has also been applauded by Ann Bartuska, Vice President of nonprofit Resources for the Future and former US Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary.

“It’s a very major step that I think will have an impact on other federal agencies,” she said.

While some have questioned whether the chemical lobby may have had a hand in ending the costly tests, Wheeler maintains that he was not lobbied before making the decision. He has said also that animal testing has long been an important issue to him — noting he wrote an op-ed on the topic for his college newspaper in 1987.

White Coat Waste Project Vice President Justin Goodman, who also has a history of criticizing the testing method, has called the move “a decisive win for taxpayers, animals, and the environment.”

“This is the most comprehensive and aggressive plan in U.S. history to cut government animal testing,” he added.

“I think it’s going to be the gold standard for other agencies.”

Rat
Mice in a lab (Source: Marques/Shutterstock.com)

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New Approaches And Alternatives To Animal Testing

The EPA will hold annual conferences on “new approach methods” beginning this year, making it the first government regulatory agency to move toward a non-animal testing model.

Possible alternatives include computer program technologies and the “organ-on-a chip” technology — a method which uses a collection of cells designed to mimic entire organs.

Animal advocacy organizations have fought for these changes for decades — PETA inclusive. Dr. Amy Clippinger, Director of the organization’s Regulatory Testing Department, was there to witness the signing of the memorandum and has applauded the move.

“PETA is celebrating the EPA’s decision to protect animals certainly, but also humans and the environment, by switching from cruel and scientifically flawed animal tests in favor of modern, non-animal testing methods,” she said.

What do you think about this new directive? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments

4 Responses to “EPA Announces Plans To End Animal Testing On Mammals By 2035”

  1. Lucy Post
    September 16th, 2019 @ 9:40 am

    This is long overdue advancement. Far superior methods of determining toxicity are available, and it’s inexcusable to use living, feeling beings as experimental tools.

  2. Une décision qui fera date : l’EPA annonce l’arrêt de ses tests sur les mammifères
    September 19th, 2019 @ 9:50 pm

    […] dernières années afin de mettre en application des changements dans ce domaine. En réaction, la PETA s’est félicitée de cette décision, qui protège à la fois les animaux, mais également les […]

  3. Clee Click
    September 20th, 2019 @ 6:25 pm

    So…another 15 years to continue torturing animals? Wish I could live to see it

  4. Sher Bauer
    September 23rd, 2019 @ 9:42 pm

    15 more years of torture is not fast enough! Every human is unique. No two people are really the same so testing on animals is ridiculously archaic when technologies exist now to test on the cellular level.

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