On the 10th September 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator Mr Andrew Wheeler signed a new directive to prioritise efforts to reduce and eliminate animal testing across the United States of America.
It follows on from an address he made in March this year where he highlighted the EPA’s commitment to move away from animal testing completely.
“To aggressively pursue a reduction in animal testing, I am directing leadership and staff….to direct existing resources toward additional activities that will demonstrate measurable impacts in reduction of animal testing….”
During the announcement he acknowledged that scientific advancements that exist today allow for accurate prediction of potential hazards without the use of animal testing. The new approach methods used in the future will include methodologies, technologies, and alternative approaches that will replace the requirement for having animals used as part of any clinical or safety trials.
Highlighted within the directive are specific commitments that will ensure the EPA’s work will make a significant difference to the landscape of animal testing. These include:
- To reduce the requests for and funding of mammal studies by 2025
- To eliminate all mammal studies by 2035
- To exclude, within legal boundaries, any reliance on animal studies by third parties from its approval process after 1st January 2035
Mr Wheeler accepted that whilst progress has been made up to now, the EPA could and should be doing more to end animal testing across the United States. The use of animal testing is expensive and time consuming, and nowhere close to being accurate or acceptable in today’s terms. By making the investment and changes now the United States can meet the 21st century commitments it has made.
“Through scientific innovation and strategic partnerships, we can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically-sound science in our decision-making that efficiently and cost-effectively evaluates potential effects without animal testing.”