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Animal Groups Reach Agreement on Controversial Program, PETA Retires 6-Foot "Bunny" Who Followed Vice-President Al Gore, Calls Off Campaign
For Immediate Release:
October 15, 1999
Washington -- Following five months of discussions and campaign tactics ranging from a man in a bunny suit trailing Al Gore to criticism from Paul McCartney, Bill Maher, and Alec Baldwin and a television commercial starring Bea Arthur, PETA, the Doris Day Animal League, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have reached an agreement with the Clinton Administration that will save the lives of as many as 800,000 animals and adds animal protection measures to the Environmental Protection Agency's high production volume (HPV) chemical-testing program fast-tracked by Mr. Gore.
The HPV program calls for tests on 2,800 widely produced industrial chemicals. The agreement greatly reduces the number of animals used (original estimates were for up to 1.3 million animals of all kinds to be poisoned and killed) and sets a precedent in the government's incorporation of non-animal test methods into testing requirements. PETA has agreed to call off its national grassroots campaign against the vice president for his role in fast-tracking the HPV program.
PETA still believes the HPV program is fundamentally flawed and unscientific,
but the changes made to it are landmark ones and reflect a high- level recognition of animal protection. These changes are outlined in a letter sent today from the EPA to 900 top chemical companies. Among them:
"This is a major victory for animals, with far-ranging consequences for
future test programs. We will be closely monitoring the chemical companies for compliance with the new guidelines," says Jessica Sandler, PETA's spokesperson and former government safety official who spearheaded discussions with the White House.
A copy of the signed EPA letter as well as broadcast video of the Bea Arthur ad is available.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.