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Environmental Protection Agency Releases Policy Recommendations to Reduce Animal Testing

WASHINGTON (June 7, 2013)—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formalized several policy recommendations designed to reduce animal tests in pesticide safety.  

Even though progress has been made in developing non-animal tests to evaluate chemicals, pesticide registration still requires as many as two dozen different laboratory poisoning tests, which can involve as many as 10,000 dogs, rodents, rabbits, fish, birds and other animals to register a single pesticide. The policy documents formalize several steps toward minimizing animal testing that the EPA has been considering for some time.

“The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund welcome these formal policy statements as a series of important steps in shifting toward smarter chemical assessment that relies on careful evaluation of the information rather than a rote list of required testing,” said Catherine Willett, director of regulatory toxicology for The HSUS. “These policies continue the momentum of providing improved human health and environmental protection while moving away from reliance on animal testing.”

EPA’s announcement includes the following:

  • Publication of “Guiding Principles for Data Requirements” formalizing a flexible approach to chemical assessment to maximize the efficiency of data collection, thereby minimizing the use of animal testing.
  • Publication of “Part 158 Toxicology Data Requirements: Guidance for Neurotoxicity Battery, Subchronic Inhalation, Subchronic Dermal and Immunotoxicity Studies” emphasizing the use of an evaluation process to determine if  testing is necessary and describing how testing can be avoided, as an alternative to simple check-box requirements.
  • Acceptance as policy of a previous pilot study that allows a non-animal testing framework for classification of eye irritation for anti-microbial pesticides.
  • A new policy, Combining Genotoxicity Testing with Standard Repeated Dose Toxicology Testing, that reduces animal testing by combining genotoxicity endpoints into routine toxicology studies.

The HSUS continues to urge the EPA to implement further measures to reduce animal tests which do not provide useful information and implement non-animal tests that are more relevant for humans.

Media contact: Niki Ianni: 610-999-6932,


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- on the Web at Subscribe to the blog, A Humane Nation. Join The HSUS on Facebook. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.