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24 October 1999

GREAT NEWS FROM PETA

I have great news! PETA has reached an agreement with the Clinton Administration over the HPV chemical testing program that will save the lives of as many as 800,000 animals and adds animal protection measures to the EPA's HPV program. This agreement greatly reduces the number of animals used (original estimates were to poison and kill 1.3 million animals of all kinds, or more) and sets a precedent for the government's incorporation of non-animal test methods into testing requirements.

We have now agreed to call off our campaign against the vice president for his role in fast-tracking the HPV program. It is a great day for animals and I want to personally thank everyone who was able to help with this campaign. The activism component of this campaign was key. Your impact cannot be underestimated.

Please see the press release below for further details.

Tracy Reiman, Director
International Grassroots Campaigns
PETA

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:
October 15, 1999

Contact:
PETA: Ingrid Newkirk 757-622-7382, ext. 302, Mary Beth Sweetland ext. 334

CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SPARES 800,000 ANIMALS SLATED FOR CHEMICAL TESTS
Animal Groups Reach Agreement on Controversial Program, PETA Retires 6-Foot "Bunny" Who Followed Vice-President Al Gore, Calls Off Campaign

Washington -- Following five months of discussions and campaign tactics ranging from a man in a bunny suit trailing Al Gore to criticism from Paul McCartney, Bill Maher, and Alec Baldwin and a television commercial starring Bea Arthur, PETA, the Doris Day Animal League, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have reached an agreement with the Clinton Administration that will save the lives of as many as 800,000 animals and adds animal protection measures to the Environmental Protection Agency's high production volume (HPV) chemical-testing program fast-tracked by Mr. Gore. The HPV program calls for tests on 2,800 widely produced industrial chemicals. The agreement greatly reduces the number of animals used (original estimates were for up to 1.3 million animals of all kinds to be poisoned and killed) and sets a precedent in the government's incorporation of non-animal test methods into testing requirements. PETA has agreed to call off its national grassroots campaign against the vice president for his role in fast-tracking the HPV program.

PETA still believes the HPV program is fundamentally flawed and unscientific, but the changes made to it are landmark ones and reflect a high-level recognition of animal protection. These changes are outlined in a letter sent today from the EPA to 900 top chemical companies. Among them:

*No animal experiments should be performed when any validated method not involving the use of animals is reasonably available;

*Testing of a number of chemicals is to be delayed for two years to allow for the incorporation of a promising non-animal test to replace the crude and cruel lethal dose animal poisoning tests;

*The Department of Health and Human Services will commit $4.5 million dollars, and the EPA $500,000, to develop non-animal test methods over the next two years;

*The EPA will recognize international chemical databases it has previously ignored, thereby eliminating new animal tests when relevant data on a chemical is contained within them;

*The EPA will accept a non-animal test method to generate genetic toxicity data;

*Toxicity tests that would have required 300 birds per test will not be conducted.

*The EPA will examine the totality of information on chemicals and allow chemical companies not to conduct certain tests rather than require the old "check list" approach that includes many animal tests;

*The EPA will incorporate this approach into future HPV test rules, and animal protection organizations will be included in high-level meetings on this and future EPA testing programs;

*There will be a partial amnesty for chemical companies to reveal and share testing data previously withheld.

"This is a major victory for animals, with far-ranging consequences for future test programs. We will be closely monitoring the chemical companies for compliance with the new guidelines," says Jessica Sandler, PETA's spokesperson and former government safety official who spearheaded discussions with the White House.

A copy of the signed EPA letter as well as broadcast video of the Bea Arthur ad is available.

Tracy Reiman, Director
International Grassroots Campaigns
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Email: TracyR@PETA-Online.org
Tel.: 757-622-7382, ext. 322
Fax: 757-628-0784
www.peta-online.org

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