Rats, Rabbits, and Guinea Pigs Will No Longer Be Poisoned in EPA Skin Test
For Immediate Release:
October 7, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Washington – Prompted by input from PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today a bigger reduction in the number of animals used in a test in which pesticides are applied to their skin.
Many regulatory agencies require that pesticide products and their active ingredients be tested on animals. In 2016, the EPA significantly reduced the number of animals used in a skin test for pesticide products—but not for their active ingredients, which required separate animal testing.
Following a request from PETA and the PCRM, the EPA and the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods conducted an additional analysis on the active ingredients in pesticide products. The analysis showed that the animal skin test does not provide information that is not obtainable through other EPA-required test results. The agency has therefore reduced animal tests for active ingredients, too—a change that brings the agency into alignment with the Canadian government.
“This update offers the opportunity to spare animals and waive a test that is not useful to protect humans or the environment,” said Dr. Amy Clippinger, director of PETA’s Regulatory Testing Department. “It also frees up resources for reliable and human-relevant, non-animal methods—a win for everyone.”
Today’s new guidance follows the EPA’s announcements that it will no longer require a pesticide test on birds, after a peer-reviewed paper co-authored by PETA scientists showed that the test was not needed to protect wildlife, and that the agency will stop funding and requesting tests on mammals by 2035. The agency has also launched a new webpage containing resources for reducing and replacing tests on animals, including links to guidance, work plans, and metrics.
For more information, please visit PETA.org/RTD.