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EPA boss has just pardoned laboratory rabbits from animal experiments

In one of his final actions as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week, Andrew Wheeler oversaw the retirement of the last remaining rabbits used in cruel experiments at Research Triangle Park, an EPA taxpayer-funded North Carolina laboratory. The “pardon” was recorded in an EPA memo of January 20, 2021, who agreed to take steps to retire the animals. “As new chemical testing methods are developed, validated and implemented, we hope that the use of rabbits to aid chemical testing can decrease even further,” the memo says. The male rabbits in the laboratories were used for experiments with their ejaculatory fluids, while the females were used to “lure” the males. Rabbits used for research purposes are usually sacrificed after the test is complete.

Wheeler’s pardon follows broad advocacy from the taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project (WCWP), which will end the cruel experiments on these rabbits and other animals suffering in laboratories across the country. “We are proud to have worked with Andrew Wheeler and his colleagues to secure this apology for last-minute EPA taxpayer-funded animal testing survivors,” said Justin Goodman, WCWP vice president of advocacy and public order. “Mr. Wheeler’s instruction to retire the last rabbit in the EPA’s taxpayer-funded laboratories cemented his legacy as a political pioneer who made the once lofty goal of ending wasteful and cruel taxpayer-funded animal testing a reality . ”

End animal testing
In 2019, the EPA announced that it would cut funding for all mammalian toxicity experiments by 2035 – with a 30 percent reduction in funding by 2025. Instead, the organization will spend $ 4.25 million on research and development of tests that do not involve animals.

“Between this move to retire EPA animal testing survivors and the agency’s historic decision last year to end all animal testing by 2035, the EPA set the gold standard for all agencies under the Biden administration and above should aim beyond, “said Goodman. “Taxpayers, animal lovers and freedom lovers in all political parties can unite behind today’s pardon.”

Ending the use of animals in these gruesome experiments was supported by both political parties, including House Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA). “As a longtime animal welfare advocate, I applaud the EPA’s decision to retire the last remaining rabbits locked up in their testing labs,” said Calvert. “For years I have been pushing for humane alternatives to EPA animal testing and for giving animals a second chance in loving homes in government labs. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the EPA take this step as part of their effort to end animal testing by 2035. I thank Administrator Wheeler and his team for realizing that we can protect animals and taxpayers by restricting the use of animals in research projects where scientifically proven alternatives are available. “

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