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(617) 522-7400
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Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
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Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
For on-site assistance (check-ins and pick-ups):
(339) 970-0790
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Angell at Essex

565 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 304-4648
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
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Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Northeast Animal Shelter

347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888
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Animal Testing Alternatives

H. 850: An Act concerning humane cosmetics and household products by limiting the use of animal testing

MSPCA Position: Support
Sponsors: Senator Mark Montigny and Representative Jack Patrick Lewis
Status: Reported favorably to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Every year, tens of thousands of animals suffer and die in product testing in the U.S. In common toxicity testing, harsh chemicals are applied to an animal’s skin, forced down their throat or into their lungs, and dripped into their eyes. Pain relief is frequently withheld. These bills would require manufacturers and their contract testing facilities to use test methods that replace animal testing for products and ingredients when they are available and provide information of equivalent or better scientific quality and relevance for the intended purpose. The legislation applies to products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, and industrial chemicals, like those in paint; it does not apply to testing done for medical research, including testing of drugs or medical devices.

21st century science is rapidly moving away from outdated animal tests as many faster, less expensive, and more human-relevant alternative methods have become available, including artificial human tissue, organs-on-chips, and sophisticated computer programs. This shift toward non-animal methods builds on recommendations of the U.S. National Research Council’s 2007 report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century, which lays the groundwork for a “paradigm shift” in safety testing. It also conforms to the bipartisan-supported 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety of the 21st Century Act, which requires the EPA to minimize animal testing.

In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it was working particularly hard toward ending the use of mammals in science and testing, both in their own studies and in funding requirements. Additionally, in February 2020, the EPA issued final guidance that reduces unnecessary testing on birds in the pesticide registration review process, which is expected to save 720 test animals annually. And in July 2020, EPA released guidance that reduces unnecessary testing on fish in the pesticide registration process, expected to save 240 test animals annually.

Non-animal test methods save time and money. Non-animal alternatives provide more efficient as well as more effective chemical safety assessment. Human cell-based tests and advanced computer models, for example, deliver human-relevant results in hours or days, unlike some animal tests that can take months or years.

Animal tests do not ensure human safety. No longer considered the gold standard of product testing, animal models carry serious scientific limitations. Different species can respond differently when exposed to the same chemicals, and even different sexes or sub-species can respond differently. Consequently, results from animal tests may not be relevant to humans, thereby under- or over-estimating health hazards. Alternative methods based on human biology are much more likely to provide results predictive of human responses.

Animals suffer in product tests. Every year, tens of thousands of animals suffer and die in product testing in the U.S. Thousands may be used for a single test, and they often suffer for months or years before being euthanized. The situation is all the more urgent given that mice, rats, and birds who have been purpose-bred for research make up roughly 95% of animals used in research and testing, and yet they are excluded from  the protection of the Animal Welfare Act.

Massachusetts is a scientific and technological leader in non-animal alternatives. Massachusetts consistently ranks as a top research dollars recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which, in its 2016-2020 strategic plan, stresses the importance of replacing animal testing models with scientifically superior alternative methods. The NIH in fact states in a 2021 report that, “High rates of failure in the development of novel therapeutics whose progression to human clinical trials was supported by animal studies has prompted concern that animal models of the human condition are more imperfect than presumed.” As a top grant recipient, the Commonwealth has a vested interest in aligning its scientific goals and practices with those of the NIH.

California, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia have all passed legislation similar to these bills. Six additional states—Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, and Oregon—have also passed laws to prohibit the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. It is time for Massachusetts to pass this legislation and join in leading the adoption of 21st century approaches to product safety testing.

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Additional Information and Sources


State Senators:

Name District/Address
Mark C. Montigny Second Bristol and Plymouth
John F. Keenan Norfolk and Plymouth
Patrick M. O’Connor First Plymouth and Norfolk
Pavel M. Payano First Essex
Michael O. Moore Second Worcester
James B. Eldridge Middlesex and Worcester
Susan L. Moran Plymouth and Barnstable
Lydia Edwards Third Suffolk
Paul W. Mark Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire
Brendan P. Crighton Third Essex
Joan B. Lovely Second Essex
Jason M. Lewis Fifth Middlesex
Bruce E. Tarr First Essex and Middlesex


State Representatives:

Name District/Address
Jack Patrick Lewis 7th Middlesex
Natalie M. Higgins 4th Worcester
Lindsay N. Sabadosa 1st Hampshire
Steven Owens 29th Middlesex
Sean Garballey 23rd Middlesex
Brian W. Murray 10th Worcester
Vanna Howard 17th Middlesex
Steven George Xiarhos 5th Barnstable
Brian M. Ashe 2nd Hampden
Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. 12th Hampden
David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf 17th Worcester
Adrian C. Madaro 1st Suffolk
Jessica Ann Giannino 16th Suffolk
Thomas M. Stanley 9th Middlesex
Michelle M. DuBois 10th Plymouth
Paul McMurtry 11th Norfolk
Edward R. Philips 8th Norfolk
Denise C. Garlick 13th Norfolk
Adrianne Pusateri Ramos 14th Essex
Samantha Montaño 15th Suffolk
James K. Hawkins 2nd Bristol
Steven S. Howitt 4th Bristol
Bradley H. Jones, Jr. 20th Middlesex
Ruth B. Balser 12th Middlesex
Christine P. Barber 34th Middlesex
Tackey Chan 2nd Norfolk
David T. Vieira 3rd Barnstable
Mike Connolly 26th Middlesex
Margaret R. Scarsdale 1st Middlesex
Carlos González 10th Hampden
Shirley B. Arriaga 8th Hampden
Patricia A. Duffy 5th Hampden
Rodney M. Elliott 16th Middlesex
Kate Donaghue 19th Worcester
Tricia Farley-Bouvier 2nd Berkshire
Sally P. Kerans 13th Essex
Christopher Richard Flanagan 1st Barnstable
Natalie M. Blais 1st Franklin
Kay Khan 11th Middlesex
Daniel J. Ryan 2nd Suffolk
Tommy Vitolo 15th Norfolk
Kimberly N. Ferguson 1st Worcester
John Barrett, III 1st Berkshire
Estela A. Reyes 4th Essex
Michelle L. Ciccolo 15th Middlesex
David Biele 4th Suffolk
Marcus S. Vaughn 9th Norfolk
Marjorie C. Decker 25th Middlesex
Peter Capano 11th Essex

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