Animal activists are always looking for ways to limit animal research and testing, including pushing laboratories to retire their research animals, requesting more lenient testing requirements, and pushing toward an animal testing-free world. With alternative methods of testing being more widely used and available, we made some important gains toward these goals in 2016:
- The National Institutes of Health released a plan in August to retire hundreds of government-owned chimpanzees. The plan will put an end to decades of invasive government-funded experiments that were performed on these chimps.
- In Liberia, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International have been caring for more than 60 chimpanzees abandoned by the New York Blood Center. In 2016, a collaborative campaign was announced with former New Mexico governor and United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson to ensure a safe future for all the chimps.
- In May, Project Chimps, a sanctuary in Georgia, partnered with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center laboratory to retire 220 chimpanzees. The lab, which had been the subject of an undercover investigation by the HSUS, was responsible for invasive experiments on the chimps.
- Previously, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required pesticide manufacturers to perform tests on dogs, rabbits, mice, and guinea pigs to allow pesticide products to be brought to market. In November, the EPA announced a plan to allow these manufacturers to waive acute dermal toxicity tests for new pesticides, marking a huge step toward moving away from these cruel testing requirements.
- More and more countries continued to ban cosmetics testing over the course of the year. Today, 1.7 billion people are now living in countries where the sale of animal-tested cosmetics is completely banned.
- In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that requires publicly funded institutions of higher education to give dogs and cats used for animal testing and research a second chance. These institutions are now mandated to give these animals the chance of being adopted into a forever home.