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PETA Convinces U.S. Department of Transportation to Promote Non-Animal Skin Corrosion Tests

April 2012

In 2011, the Department of Transportation (DOT) agreed with a PETA rulemaking petition and formally approved the use of three in vitro skin corrosion tests instead of the painful rabbit test, in which rabbits have chemicals smeared onto their shaved backs and chemical burns are allowed to develop for up to two weeks. Despite DOT’s approval of these humane tests, the department failed to update its website to promote this change. Some guidance documents on the website even continued to advise companies to use both the rabbit test and the non-animal tests and to choose whichever result they preferred! But after continuing pressure from PETA and a complaint filed with the inspector general, DOT finally published new guidance on its website that clearly instructs companies to use approved non-animal replacements wherever possible and removed the outdated guidance.