Why You Should Support the FACT Act

A May 2018 study has found the National Toxicology Program uses animals in 82% of its tests, “subjecting countless animal to painful procedures with little relevance to human health”.

The National Toxicology Program or NTP is a federal agency within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and is a partner with Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. NTP is tasked with coordinating studies of substances that could present potential harm to the public. NTP is also supposed to “develop[] and implement[] modern testing technologies that reduce animal use”. NTP’s budget was $131 million in FY 2016.

The report issued by White Coat Waste Project and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, finds, however, that NTP’s “testing practices …are not keeping pace with technological advances”. The report found that in 48% of NTP’s most common current chemical tests, at least 115,000 animals were used at a cost of $186 million. The number of animals used in all current tests is likely 200,000 at a cost of $250 billion. Less than half (48%) of chemicals currently under assessment by NTP have non animal tests planned; all have animal tests planned.

The most common animal tests involve “administering massive, human irrelevant doses” by “force-feeding, forced inhalation, injection, spiked food and water, and application to their bare skin, including to pregnant animals and their offspring”. Animals “used in these poisoning tests are typically not provided with any pain relief”. In one test on acrylamide, a by-product of roasting coffee and baking and frying starchy foods like French fries and potato chips, NTP gave the chemical to mice and rats in “‘doses 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels people might be exposed to in foods'”. NTP found “‘clear evidence'” acrylamide causes cancer. The National Cancer Institute reports, however, that based on epidemiological studies in humans, there is no consistent evidence the dietary exposure acrylamide causes cancer.

Another pointless, cruel, and costly NTP animal study involved testing cell phone radiation on 3,000 animals over 10 years at a cost of $25 million. The levels of exposure to radiation were more than 10 times that of the highest cell phone use. Even the NTP concluded, “So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage”.

The Weekly Standard recently questioned why the government continues to support “cruel, ineffective, and expensive” animal testing when private industry in the case of cosmetics in particular has “abandoned” it.

The report recommends enactment of the bipartisan Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT), H.R. 816, to improve progress reporting by NTP and other agencies about efforts to reduce animal use in toxicity testing, redirect funds for animal tests to development and use of non animal alternatives, halt animal studies by NTP pending an independent audit, restrict funding for animal testing at all agencies, and increase transparency of the costs of animal testing.

White Coat Waste Project and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society presented the report in a bipartisan briefing hosted by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA).


Call or send a post card to your U.S. representative and urge him/her to support the FACT Act, H.R. 816 and also restrict funding for animal testing at NTP and other agencies. Find your U.S. representative here.

Rep. Steve King Amendment Fails with Farm Bill

Update: Rep. Steve King’s bill, H.R. 4879 was included as a draft amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill which has been defeated in the House of Representatives. But it is important as the Farm Bill is redrafted that representatives know that you do not support King’s Farm Bill amendment that restricts local governments from setting humane standards for the treatment of farm animals.

Read Animal Law Coalition’s original report and find out how you can help stop the 2018 King Amendment

Original report February 19, 2019: In 2013 Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced a provision that would have effectively taken away the ability of state and local governments to pass laws requiring better treatment for farm animals. That provision did not become law, but now Rep. King is trying again with his bill, H.R. 4879.

King’s bill, H.R. 4879, would target, for example, the 2010 California law that prohibits sale of eggs in the state that are from hens kept in conditions inconsistent with Cal Health & Saf Code Sec. 25990. That law, known as California’s anti-confinement law for farm animals, requires that “for all or the majority of any day”, egg laying hens must be able to lay down, stand up and fully extend their limbs or wings without touching the sides of an enclosure or other hens, and also turn around freely. See further Cal Health & Saf Code Section 25991.

Under Congressman King’s bill this California law could not be applied to foreign egg producers that want to sell eggs in the state. Other jurisdictions could sell eggs from hens cruelly crammed into battery cages and likely undercut the prices of local egg producers that must meet state humane standards.

King’s amendment would wreak havoc with efforts of local citizens to stop animal cruelty and threaten protections not only for egg laying hens and other farm animals, but also laws that prohibit or regulate puppy and cat mills and other animal breeders, ban horse slaughter and protect wildlife. The King amendment would threaten state and local standards for food safety, environmental protection and worker safety. Rep. King would force every state and locale to open its markets to those producers with the worst standards. Don’t let Congressman King undermine state’s rights and turn the clock back centuries on standards for animal welfare, the environment, and food and worker safety.


Find your U.S. representative here.

Urge your U.S. representative (letters, post cards, or calls are best) to speak out against Rep. Steve King’s amendment to the Farm Bill and vote NO to H.R. 4879.

Signatures Obtained for CA Ballot Initiative to Improve on Prop 2

Farm Sanctuary (flickr)

Update: The ballot initiative organizers, Prevent Cruelty California, has collected more than 600,000 signatures of California voters! The initiative, Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, will be on the ballot this November in California! Read more about the ballot initiative in Animal Law Coalition’s report below.

Original report February 22, 2018: Voters in Massachusetts approved by 77.6% to 22.3% a similar initiative, Question 3, in the election on November 8, 2016. Under that measure which goes into effect in 2022, egg laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal must be able to (1) stand, (2) lie down, (3) turn freely without touching the enclosure, or in the case of hens, without touching another hen or the enclosure; and (4) fully extend their limbs touching the enclosure, or, in the case of hens, without touching another hen or the enclosure; and (5) for hens, access to at least 1.5 square foot of space.

No eggs, veal or pork can be sold in Massachusetts from hens, breeding pigs or calves kept for veal, or their offspring, that have not been kept in compliance with these standards. This means out of state producers must comply in order to sell their eggs, pork and veal in Massachusetts.

When California voters passed Proposition 2 in 2008, it was a landmark law, the first to require egg producers to give egg laying hens confined in battery cages sufficient room to stand up, lie down, turn around freely, and fully extend their wings. Prop 2 also joined other states in requiring the same standards for pregnant pigs and calves used to produce veal.

Now the Humane Society of the United States has introduced a ballot initiative in California called the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act that would improve upon the Prop 2 standards like the new Massachusetts law and ban the sale of eggs, pork, and veal that has not been produced in accord with this new requirements.

In order to place this measure on the November, 2018 ballot HSUS and its coalition must collect 365,000 signatures in support from registered voters.

Say No to Outsourcing AWA Inspections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to outsource to private parties the inspections required for operations regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, including puppy mills, animal exhibitions, and animal research labs. These private parties are likely to have close ties to these industries. That means these places will be largely left to self-policing. This plan will enrich private contractors and leave the animals in worse jeopardy. APHIS already provided very few inspectors for the thousands of animals trapped in mills, exhibits and research labs.

What You Can Do

Go here to submit comments by no later than March 21. Let APHIS know that (1) Third party inspection and certification programs mean industry self-policing and reduced accountability and transparency, (2) Third party oversight in the past has failed, leaving the public and animals vulnerable to industry abuses, (3) Third party inspections jeopardize the safety and welfare of animals required to be protected by APHIS under the Animal Welfare Act.