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.

Call Now to Stop BLM Plan to Sell Wild Horses for Slaughter

Update May 24, 2018: The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has not yet taken up the BLM FY 2019 budget proposal but is expected to do so in June, 2018. Read Animal Law Coalition’s earlier reports below and continue to contact Committee members listed below and your own U.S. representative and tell them you are calling about the Fiscal Year 2019 BLM spending bill the Appropriations Committee is about to mark up. Tell them to please reject any language that would allow the destruction, sale to slaughter or sterilization of federally protected wild horses and burros and their herds.

Update:May 22, 2018 the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee will take up the BLM FY 2019 budget proposal. The BLM in an April 26, 2018 report has recommended amendments to the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. Sec 1331, et seq., that would allow BLM to sell most wild horses and burros removed from the range for slaughter. Most of the wild horses and burros that are not sold would be “euthanized” under BLM’s plan. The report also calls on Congress to allow BLM to manage wild horses and burros on the range as non-reproducing herds through surgical or chemical sterilization. Which means BLM will manage wild horses and burros to extinction.

The BLM claims AML or the appropriate management level of wild horses and burros nationally is 26,715. That is the number of wild horses and burros that existed in 1971 when the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed because they were fast disappearing from the West!

In Defense of Animals has issued its analysis of the BLM report: “Since 1971, when Congress passed that Act to protect horses and their rangelands, the BLM has removed a shocking 42 percent of the public lands designated for wild horse and burro habitat. At the same time the agency has squandered taxpayer funds on an insane program of chasing down terrified wild horses with helicopters and penning them indefinitely in cruel holding facilities.

“The result is depleted horse herds at levels that are genetically unsustainable. Without supporting evidence, the agency insists that wild horses are rampantly overpopulating, starving, and destroying range ecology, while designating more public lands to ranchers.”

The National Academy of Sciences has challenged BLM’s claims about the AML or number of wild horses and burros that can be supported on the range as “not transparent to stakeholders, supported by scientific information, or amenable to adaptation with new information and environmental and social change.” BLM will not even consider the birth control programs suggested by the Academy let alone its accounting of America’s wild horses and burros.


Find your U.S. representative here. Find key Appropriations Committee members listed below. Call NOW and tell them you are calling about the Fiscal Year 2019 BLM spending bill the Appropriations Committee is about to mark up. Tell them to please reject any language that would allow the destruction, sale to slaughter or sterilization of federally protected wild horses and burros and their herds.


• Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey, Chairman- -202-225-5034    fax 202-225-3186 
• Harold Rogers, Kentucky-202-225-4601    fax 202-225-0940 
• Kay Granger, Texas- 202-225-5071   fax 202- 202-225-5683
• Michael K. Simpson, Idaho-202-225-5531   fax 202-225-8216
• John Abney Culberson Texas- 202-225-2571  fax 202-225-4381 
• John R. Carter, Texas- 202-225-3864  fax 202- 225-5886
• Ken Calvert, California- 202-225-1986  fax 202-225-2004 
• Tom Cole, Oklahoma- 202-225-6165   fax 202-225-3512 
• Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington- 202-225-3536  fax 202-225-3475 
• David G. Valadao, California- 202-225-4695  fax 202-225-3196
• Mark E. Amodei, Nevada- 202-225-6155  fax 202-225-5679
• Chris Stewart, Utah- 202-225-9730  fax 202-225-5629
• David Young, Iowa- 202-225-5476   fax 202-225-3301
• Dan Newhouse, Washington- 202-225-5816  fax 202-225-3251
• Nita M. Lowey, New York- 202-225-6506  fax 202-225-0546
• Marcy Kaptur, Ohio- 202-225-4146  fax 202-225-7711
• José E. Serrano, New York- 202-225-4361   fax 202-225-6001
• David E. Price, North Carolina- 202-225-1784  fax 202-225-2014
• Lucille Roybal-Allard, California- 202-225-1766  fax 202-226-0350
• Barbara Lee, California- 202-225-2661  fax 202-225-9817
• Betty McCollum, Minnesota- 202-225-6631  fax 202-225-1968
• Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida- 202-225-7931  fax 202-226-2052
• Henry Cuellar, Texas- 202-225-1640  fax 202-225-1641
• Derek Kilmer, Washington- 202-225-5916  fax 202-226-3575
• Grace Meng, New York- 202-225-2601  fax 202-225-1598
Pete Aguilar, California- 202-225-3201  fax 202-226-6962

Original report February 19, 2018: In the BLM FY 2019 budget proposal the Trump Administration states it plans to sell up to 90,000 wild horses and burros for slaughter in foreign countries.

The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1331, et seq. requires the Administration to protect America’s wild horses and burros that are on public lands. Instead, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has systematically over the years used helicopters to round them up, penning them cruelly in costly corrals and leaving herds at near extinct levels. Now BLM wants to sell off these mustangs for slaughter.

For more information read the Unified Statement of more than 80 organizations including Animal Law Coalition.

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.

Why is it so hard for President Trump to flatly forbid trophy hunting imports?

Photo by Artg

(First printed in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Friday, March 9, 2018, 12:16 PM)

It’s been three years since the world erupted in outrage when Cecil the lion was selfishly and ineptly hunted down by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. The callous killing of Cecil threw a harsh spotlight on the slaughtering of animals for their body parts — “trophies” — so they can be stuffed and hung up on walls in macabre tableaux mounted by insecure men. (Yes, it’s almost exclusively men who participate in this so-called sport.) It’s time for our government to stop being complicit in this indefensible horror.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that the import of body parts of African elephants shot for sport could be allowed on a case-by-case basis. This news came only a few months after the President spoke out against the practice and put the decision on hold. Back in November, President Trump tweeted, “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.”

He was right then and if he meant it, he needs to direct his agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to do its job and protect wildlife, not trophy hunters.

Importing elephant “trophies” is currently illegal unless a government agency allows an exception to the law that is supposed to protect endangered species, and there is no legitimate basis for allowing the body parts of imperiled animals to be imported into our country.

New reports detail Cecil’s last hours. According to the forthcoming book “Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil & the Future of Africa’s Iconic Cats,” By biologist Andrew Loveridge, after deliberately luring him outside the confines of a national park in order to skirt regulations, Palmer shot Cecil with his first steel arrow but missed his vital organs and major arteries. The majestic lion suffered for 10 to 12 excruciatingly painful hours before finally being “dispatched” with a second arrow from a compound bow.

Public condemnation of trophy hunting remains strong. It’s a cowardly pastime that is all about the perverse need to nab and slaughter the biggest and the “best.” It’s about gleefully posing for twisted selfies with lifeless bodies. It’s about bragging rights, as if blasting a complacent animal with high-powered weaponry were some sort of achievement.

We must ask ourselves, what is the psychology of someone who spends tens of thousands of dollars to travel to another country just to kill? When their motive is the thrill of the kill and they have a complete disregard for another’s life and take perverted pleasure in displaying heads of animals minding their own business, this indicates to the rest of us a very deeply disturbed psyche.

Trying to spin these kills as “conservation” is absurd. The animals are supposed to be protected by international treaty and the federal Endangered Species Act. Killing them or importing their body parts is strictly prohibited. There is one exception — when doing so would help “enhance the propagation or survival of the affected species.”

As the Supreme Court recognized, this exception is meant to apply under “extremely narrow circumstances.” And yet, through an outrageous pay-to-play policy, the FWS has let the exception become the rule.

Pressured by groups like Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, the FWS now issues dozens of permits every year authorizing trophy imports. Instead of limiting permits to those cases that truly help species, as the law requires, the agency hands them out like candy to just about anyone claiming to make a donation toward conservation.

Never mind that the donations are nothing but collateral to the cruel hunting, are often paltry, and go to countries where there is no assurance that they will actually be used for conservation. Never mind that FWS often doesn’t even follow up to make sure that the promised donations are even made, let alone that they end up where they were supposed to. Never mind that killing elephants or lions — members of complex social groups — directly undermines conservation while also destroying families.

As ethicist Marc Bekoff says, “It’s time to put away the guns . . . and figure out how to live in peaceful coexistence with the fascinating animals with whom we’re supposed to share our most magnificent planet.”

The FWS would do well to take that message to heart, charged as it is by Congress with protecting these animals.

Winders is the PETA Foundation’s vice president and deputy general counsel for captive animal law enforcement and a visiting scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.