The Humane Society of the United States thanks Governor Ralph Northam for signing a bill to reduce the use of animals in product testing. Virginia is only the fourth state in the country to pass such a law. Delegate Jennifer Boysko, D-86, was the lead patron of the bill, HB 1087.
“By minimizing animal testing and instead focusing on the use of faster, cost effective and more reliable testing methods, Virginia companies can save lives, time and money,” said Matthew Gray, Virginia state director for the HSUS. “We thank Delegate Boysko and Governor Northam for their leadership on this issue.”
21st century science is rapidly moving away from outdated animal tests. HB 1087 requires the use of available methods that avoid animal testing or reduce the number of animals used for testing product such as cosmetics, household cleaners and industrial chemicals. Many effective alternatives to animal testing now exist, including 3-D printing, construction of artificial human tissue and the generation of sophisticated computer programs that can make accurate predictions about chemical safety. With these sophisticated technologies comes the promise of improved and more predictive information on safety of chemicals and other products.
Virginia has now joined California, New Jersey and New York in all passing laws requiring companies to use available alternative test methods.
- This law does not apply to testing done for medical research, including testing of drugs or medical devices nor does it prohibit the use of animal tests to comply with requirements of state or federal agencies.
- The National Academy of Sciences backed non-animal approaches to safety testing in their seminal report: Toxicity Testing for the 21st Century: a vision and a strategy.
- In 2016, Congress took action to minimize animal testing through passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety of the 21st Century Act, which revised the Toxic Substances Control Act and included provisions to minimize animal testing and to continually update scientific best practices.
- To learn more about effective alternatives, visit humantoxicologyproject.org.