A long-awaited reform bill that will greatly reduce the number of animals used for chemical safety testing finally passed Congress in 2016. Two other important bills must be reintroduced in next year’s session.
- In June, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act became law. While the law will not end the use of animals in chemical safety testing, it does require the Environmental Protection Agency to minimize animal use in such testing, while it promotes a plan aimed at developing and implementing reliable alternative test methods.
- The Humane Cosmetics Act, which would require private and governmental entities to end their use of animals to test for the safety of cosmetics, ended the year with 173 sponsors! Your continued support will be needed to get this through Congress next year.
- The Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act would phase out the use of animals for medical and combat training in the military. NAVS sent almost 5,800 petitions to the U.S. Senate from advocates supporting this legislation and we will advocate for its reintroduction in 2017.
In 2016, NAVS tracked nearly two thousand animal-related bills that were introduced throughout the country, with the help of law student interns from Chicago-area law schools. Among the highlights:
- Maryland and Hawaii introduced bills to give students a choice not to dissect in the classroom. As a result of outreach from the NAVS CHOICE (Compassionate Humane Options in Classroom Education) initiative—and support from advocates like you—several states have already committed to introducing this legislation in 2017.
- New York enacted a law that requires institutions of higher education to make healthy dogs and cats used for research available for adoption after the completion of the testing or research. Similar legislation was introduced in Illinois, along with a bill to require universities and colleges that receive public funds to be more transparent as to how they use dogs and cats for research.
- California adopted the California Orca Protection Act to end the use of orcas in California for entertainment purposes, guaranteeing that SeaWorld could not resume its orca shows in the future.
Thank you for all you have done and all that you will do in the coming year to help pass animal-friendly laws. Watch for new legislative efforts…coming soon!
Wishing all of our friends and fellow advocates a happy holiday and victorious New Year!