Strategies to Reduce Animal Testing in US EPA’s HPV Program
Chad B. Sandusky1, Megha Even1, Kristie Stoick1 and Jessica Sandler2
1Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C., and 2People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk, VA, USA
The High Production Volume (HPV) program was launched in the US by the EPA in 1998. In an effort to reduce the number of animals killed in this large testing initiative, members of the animal welfare community met with government officials and negotiated several basic principles set forth in a letter from EPA to all HPV participants (10/14/99), and reiterated in a Federal Register notice. The goal was to avoid check-the-box toxicology in fulfilling the basic SIDS data set, which if followed for each chemical, would result in well over a million animal deaths. Laudable goals included the formation of chemical categories, the use of existing data to the greatest extent possible, and similar common sense approaches to spare animals and still meet the goals of the program. After more than five years experience and review of over 370 test plans, the success of this effort is disappointing. Many examples exist in which companies duplicated testing, for example, if the data were non-GLP. In other instances, published data existed which were not used, either individually or in conjunction with other data (in a weight-of evidence approach) to avoid new animal testing. Over time, however, some successful strategies were developed by reviewers in the animal welfare community and in collaboration with conscientious companies to reduce testing and still meet the SIDS requirements. Examples of these strategies will be provided and explored as they might apply to future testing programs.
This abstract was presented by the authors at the Fifth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in August 2005 in Berlin.