Sponsor: Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-76)
Introduced: February 1, 2023
Every year, tens of millions of animals suffer in laboratory experiments in the U.S., often without painkillers. Fortunately, both the scientific community and the public are increasingly recognizing how ineffective and cruel these tests are. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, just 8% of drugs tested on animals are ultimately deemed safe and effective for human use — 92% are not. This means that not only are vulnerable animals being subjected to painful, drawn-out testing methods for effectively no reason, but also that humans are being exposed to unnecessary harm when human trials inevitably result in toxicity where none was seen in animal tests. Additionally, non-animal testing methods have improved dramatically in recent years, with higher rates of success than animal models.
This legislation, Animal test methods: alternatives (A.B. 357), would:
- update the definition of “alternative test method” to expand the range of non-animal tests allowed to be used, in order to accommodate recent technological advances.
- mandate, beginning in 2025, that manufacturers and contract testing facilities still testing on animals in California report certain information to the state attorney general, and that the attorney general make that information publicly available online.
Why is this legislation important? For decades, California has been a national leader in the move away from animal testing and toward more humane and effective research methods. The state in 2018 banned the sale of cosmetics created using animal tests, and in 2020 banned “unnecessary” toxicological tests on dogs and cats. In 2000, California became the first U.S. state to ban certain testing on animals when accepted animal-free options exist. This bill would expand on that existing law to make better use of humane, animal-free testing methods that were not yet available when the law was first enacted. More humane, reliable, cost-effective, and advanced non-animal testing models are being developed every day, and the law should adapt to reflect this progress.
Coalition support: Humane Society of the United States