The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have swooped in to prevent hundreds of birds from being used in pesticide tests.
© iStock.com/Peter Davies
A peer-reviewed paper co-authored by the two entities reviewed 20 years of data from a test for pesticides in which birds are fed pesticide-laced food for days and then monitored for signs of distress, such as regurgitation or death, before being killed. The authors found that there were no cases in which this test identified a risk that wasn’t identified in other required pesticide tests. Therefore, the EPA can confidently protect the environment without poisoning birds in this cruel experiment.
Based on this paper, the EPA released a policy that will spare hundreds of mallards and northern bobwhite (a species of quail) each year, along with saving time and taxpayer money—resources that can be better spent advancing non-animal methods that can more quickly and reliably predict the effect of chemicals on humans and the environment.
This policy follows the groundbreaking news that the EPA plans to stop funding and requesting tests on mammals by 2035. PETA first put animal rights on the EPA’s agenda 20 years ago, and while we wish animal tests would stop now—or had never started—this is the first time a U.S. regulatory agency has made such a commitment. In fact, the EPA administrator announced that this collaborative project to save birds was the “first action after my recent directive to aggressively reduce animal testing throughout the Agency.” We hope it’s the first of many as our scientists continue to work with the EPA and other regulatory agencies to end tests on all animals.
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