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US EPA chief seeks to reduce agency-funded animal testing

REUTERS
WASHINGTON
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said on Tuesday he was signing a memo to reduce agency-funded animal testing, vowing to almost completely end the practice by 2035.
Wheeler also said he was awarding $4.25 million to five research universities to advance research and development of alternative test methods for evaluating safety of chemicals “that will minimise, and hopefully eliminate, the need for animal testing.” The plan calls on cutting mammal testing by 30 percent by 2025.
A handful of US agencies conduct animal testing, including the Federal Drug Administration for vaccines and drugs, and Agriculture Department for pesticides. The Transportation Department and National Toxicology Program also conduct such tests.
The news was welcomed by animal rights advocates like PETA and the Humane Society, which had urged agencies to shift to non-animal testing.
But some environmental groups said animal testing was necessary for identifying toxic chemicals and ensuring they do not harm the public.

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