Rabbits pardoned from animal testing

Yvonne O'Halloran

Prior to leaving office, Andrew Wheeler made a final stride for animals as Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rabbits found at Research Triangle Park, a North Carolina lab funded by the EPA, will no longer be used for cruel experiments at the lab.

This news comes from a memo, dated January 20, 2021. The memo says, “As new approach methods for chemical testing are developed, validated, and implemented, we hope that the use of rabbits to support chemical testing can decrease even further.”

Before their pardon, male rabbits were used in experiments that involved their ejaculatory fluids. The female rabbits, on the other hand, were there to “entice” the males. No matter the rabbits’ sex, if they were used for research, the animals were usually killed once testing was over.

Wheeler and his colleagues at the EPA worked with taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project (WCWP). WCWP works to put an end to such cruel experiments, such as the ones occurring at Research Triangle Park.

Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy at WCWP, Justin Goodman, expresses his happiness at Wheeler’s decision. “We’re proud to have worked with Andrew Wheeler and his colleagues to secure this last-minute pardon for survivors of EPA’s taxpayer-funded animal tests,” he said. “Mr. Wheeler’s directive to retire the last of the bunnies in the EPA’s taxpayer-funded labs cements his legacy as a policy pioneer who made the once-lofty goal of ending wasteful and cruel taxpayer-funded animal tests a reality.” 

Article written by Tessa Altman- United States

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