Animal testing is a horrible thing. However, after the U.S. has passed its new chemical safety law lately condemning animal testing animal rights activists must have cheered up. In fact, this law was more than overdue to be updated since it had not been updated for more than 20 years. The law can be considered a milestone not only because it aims at reducing animal testing dramatically but also for its commitment to find alternative methods and ways. Read on to learn more about this groundbreaking movement towards the right direction!
“Animal rights groups are celebrating President Barack Obama signing a newchemical safety law on Wednesday that includes a groundbreaking condemnation of animal testing.
The revised Toxic Substances Control Act, which Obama signed with bipartisan support, had not been updated for more than 20 years. It now includes a provision discouraging the use of chemical testing on vertebrate animals and requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to create and promote a database of alternative testing methods.
The provision marks the first time Congress has ever issued an “explicit decree … to minimize animal testing and to create a clear preference for the development and use of alternative methods and strategies,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
The updated law “will almost certainly accelerate the movement away from animal tests for chemicals, pesticides, biocides, cosmetics, and other potentially dangerous substances in risk assessment protocols or for safety substantiation,” he wrote in a blog post.
The provision gives the EPA two years to create and implement a plan promoting the development of alternative testing methods.
“TSCA reform will not only spare hundreds of thousands of animals from enormous suffering, but will also encourage the continued modernization of chemical testing and the development of alternatives,” Crystal Schaeffer, the outreach director for the American Anti-Vivisection Society, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.
Examples in the law’s new provision include using in vitro methods to test isolated human cells against chemicals, computer modeling the chemicals’ effects and using data to better identify which chemicals we already know are safe.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who has a long track record of urging compassion for animals, spearheaded the animal testing provision. In recent years he has co-sponsored acts strengthening laws against soring show horses — the practice of inflicting pain to a horse’s legs so that they walk with a higher gait — and banning horse slaughtering.
The Dodo noted he also opposed the Sportmen’s Act last year, which would have “lowered protections for federal lands and wilderness areas, encouraged hunting of threatened polar bears and blocked checks on toxic lead ammunition, which can hurt animals and the environment.”