January 15, 2004, marked the official launch of PETA’s “Give the Animals 5″ Campaign with a reception hosted by Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.). Rep. Moran is taking the lead in making Congress aware of these non-animal methods and urging his fellow legislators to end the use of animal testing where internationally recognized non-animal methods can be used instead. In a letter to his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Moran wrote:
“We have enacted landmark legislation to protect the public from harmful chemicals. To carry out these laws, our federal agencies require pesticides and industrial chemicals to be tested to measure their toxicity levels. This is not cruel–this is good policy.
“What is cruel, however, is to treat animals like test tubes. While no one is intentionally cruel in crafting measures to protect the public health, unfortunately, that is the result if we are not intentionally aiming to incorporate non-animal test methods.
“I doubt any member of Congress believes that an animal should be subjected to pain in a toxicity test if a non-animal test would give an equally accurate result. I hope that you will review the information on the reverse and agree upon the same goal: The U.S. needs to take the lead in developing sophisticated, scientifically sound, non-animal toxicity testing methods.”
On February 23, 2004, Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Bridgeport) joined Rep. Moran in writing to the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In their letters, the members of Congress invited the head of each agency “to improve the science underlying your agency’s regulatory decisions while also reducing animal suffering.” They also posed a number of probing questions regarding the agencies’ ongoing reluctance to embrace existing, validated non-animal test methods.
Click here to find out how you can help pressure U.S. agencies to turn their backs on animal testing once and for all.