Birds Saved After EPA, PETA International Science Consortium Work Together

Birds Will No Longer Be Forced to Eat Pesticides and Be Killed in a Required Toxicity Test

For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Birds will no longer suffer in a toxicity test used for at least 35 years, thanks to an ongoing collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd.

Today, the EPA released a draft policy based on a scientific analysis that the agency and the Science Consortium published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

The EPA had required the toxicity test in order to assess the potential risk of pesticides to birds in the environment. However, the paper’s findings show that the test—in which mallard ducks and bobwhite quails are fed pesticide-laced food before being killed—is generally not useful for protecting birds in the wild.

Scientists from the EPA and the Science Consortium conducted a detailed review of 119 pesticides that were registered into commerce between 1998 and 2017. They found that there were no cases in which the test identified a risk that was not identified in other required tests and, therefore, that the risk of pesticides to birds can be confidently assessed without conducting this test. As a result, it will no longer be routinely required, freeing up resources to focus on efforts that will protect the environment.

“Waiving this test on birds will save time, taxpayer money, and hundreds of birds each year without compromising environmental health,” said Dr. Amy Clippinger, president of the PETA International Science Consortium. “This is a win for the environment and animals, and we commend the EPA on being proactive in changing its policy as a result of the study.”

The EPA’s policy can be found here.

The Science Consortium will continue to collaborate with the EPA and other regulatory agencies worldwide in order to identify and implement animal-free toxicity testing methods that protect human and environmental health.

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. works to accelerate the development, validation, and global implementation of animal-free testing. It was established in 2012 to coordinate the scientific and regulatory expertise of its members—PETA U.S., PETA U.K., PETA Germany, PETA India, PETA Netherlands, PETA France, PETA Asia, and PETA Australia. The Science Consortium and its members have donated millions of dollars toward helping to reduce and replace animal use.

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