PETA has been in the forefront for decades in urging the scientific community to end cruel and ineffective regulatory animal testing.
On March 16, 2020, the urgent race for a COVID-19 vaccine prompted the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to proceed with the first human clinical trial, without waiting for animal testing results – effectively heeding PETA's call, and demonstrating recognition at the highest level that animal tests are largely inapplicable to humans.
More in PETA podcast episode #111: Skipping Animal Tests Key in Coronavirus Vaccine Race.
In September 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made an historic decision to eliminate all chemical testing on mammals by 2035, and to immediately begin the transition to more modern and effective methods.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had worked toward this outcome for decades, and White Coat Waste Project had also campaigned for this result in recent years. The Greg Fund has supported all three organizations -- and all three were represented at the news conference where EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the plan.
The Greg Fund has been working with White Coat Waste Project on a multi-pronged campaign to end taxpayer-funded animal experiments and retire the subject animals to homes or sanctuaries.
The AFTER ACT or Violet's Law, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2019 as H.R. 2897, and in the U.S. Senate in July as S.2322, is one important prong in this campaign. It would require federal agency policies to allow for the retirement of Animal Welfare Act-covered species no longer needed in taxpayer-funded research -- potentially benefitting tens of thousands of dogs, cats, primates, rabbits and other animals currently held in federal labs.
In July 2019, ABC7 reported that this campaign had successfully pressured the Department of Veteran's Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health to adopt policies on retiring animals used in experiments. Then in February 2020, The Hill reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had also updated its policy to allow the placement of lab animals after study completion.
This came after White Coat Waste Project's success in January 2018 with ending a deadly FDA nicotine addiction experiment on squirrel monkeys.
The Greg Fund joined a White Coat Waste coalition in this campaign, along with Dr. Jane Goodall and a bipartisan group of U.S. Congresspeople.
In November 2018, the 26 monkeys who survived the experiment -- including one named Gregory -- moved to freedom at Florida Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary. The story was covered by CNN and the New York Times, among others.
In 2018-19, the Fund was also part of a coalition that helped White Coat Waste Project end 37 years of U.S. Department of Agriculture toxoplasmosis studies that killed over 3,000 kittens. The coalition, including a bipartisan group of over 50 U.S. Congresspeople, also secured a USDA commitment to adopt out the surviving 14 cats.