A chemical-testing program put in place by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) in 1998 had the potential to cost millions of animals their
lives in laboratory tests. But as a newly published review by PETA scientists
shows, a fraction of that number were used after PETA reached an agreement with
the EPA that established groundbreaking guidelines for the project.

Chemical Warfare

The High
Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program
was developed in closed-door meetings with the American Chemistry Council and
the Environmental Defense
Fund
and was launched without any public review or comment—but it didn’t escape PETA’s
notice.

After months of discussions, congressional testimony, and
public education tactics—including sending a giant “bunny” to follow
then–presidential candidate and chief HPV supporter Al Gore on the campaign
trail—PETA reached a historic deal with the Clinton administration that
resulted in the EPA’s issuing guidance on reducing animal use to participating chemical companies.

As the program dragged on for more than a decade, either
PETA or the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine
reviewed and commented on
every test plan in which animal tests were proposed in order to ensure
adherence to the guidance.

PETA’s Review

PETA scientists’ review of the HPV program has now been published in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal of the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences, Environmental
Health Perspectives
. The review shows that animal welfare guidance was
inconsistently applied by both chemical companies and the EPA.  127,000
animals were used throughout the program—a heartbreaking toll, yet a much
smaller number than the 3.5 million who would have been killed in a worst-case
scenario.

Grouping similar chemicals and submitting existing test data
saved the largest number of animals. Combining tests, using the weight of
existing evidence and experience, and replacing animal tests with modern, superior non-animal
methods
further reduced the number of animals used.

What You Can Do

While the agreement that PETA secured in the HPV program
saved millions of lives and represented an important step forward, inflicting unnecessary suffering and a
miserable death
on even one animal is unacceptable.
PETA won’t rest until laboratory experiments on animals are consigned to the history
books—and you can help
make that happen!

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Article source: PETA Files

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