This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would cut funding to all toxicity experiments conducted on mammals by 2035—with a 30-percent reduction in funding by 2025. Instead, the organization will dedicate $4.25 million to research and development of testing that does not involve animals. According to taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project (WCW), experiments such as exposing dogs and rabbits to exhaust fumes and forcing animals to eat lard—which are cruel to animals and waste taxpayer dollars—will soon be a thing of the past. “We’re popping champagne today to celebrate the EPA for unveiling the most aggressive and comprehensive plan to end wasteful government animal tests in US history,” Justin Goodman, WCW vice president of advocacy and public policy, said. “As WCW has exposed, EPA’s long-entrenched animal testing is expensive, cruel, misleading, and is rightfully opposed by a supermajority of taxpayers in both political parties. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler—a longtime critic of animal testing who even mentioned the issue in his Senate confirmation testimony—deserves applause for bucking government bureaucracy. The EPA is the first agency ever to set a benchmark and timeline for the complete phase-out of wasteful taxpayer-funded animal testing. This is a decisive win for taxpayers, animals, industry, and the environment.”

Animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), along with medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, worked for 20 years on several initiatives to phase animals out of laboratories and praises EPA’s decision. “We’re at the dawn of a new era in which toxicity tests will better protect humans and the environment—and millions of individual animals will no longer suffer in them. There’s still a huge amount of work to be done, but today’s EPA announcement is a milestone,” Amy J. Clippinger, PhD, director of PETA’s regulatory testing department, said. “On behalf of all the PETA scientists who worked tirelessly to help achieve this, thank you for making such tremendous progress for animals possible.”