Saturday, February 16, 2008

Three U.S. agencies aim to end animal testing

USA Today reported here that the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the National Institutes of Health have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to phase out animal testing to evaluate the safety for humans of new chemicals and drugs. The collaboration is described in and article appearing in the February 15th edition of the journal Science (available here in pdf format). The USA Today story quotes Martin Stephens from the Humane Society of the United States as follows:
The agreement is a "milestone" says Martin Stephens of the Humane Society of the United States. "We believe this is the beginning of the end for animal testing. We think the (conversion) process will take about 10 years."
. . .
Although there are no actual figures, Stephens says his "best guess" would be that about 10 million animals a year are used in toxicity testing, mostly mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and then lesser numbers of dogs, monkeys and other species.
The EPA's press release is available here and a similar NIH press release is available here. Also be sure to check out response to the news from HSUS's Wayne Pacelle here.

No comments: