LINCOLNTON, N.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency plans to phase out animal testing by 2025 and completely eliminate it by 2035.
The Beagle Freedom Project in Lincolnton has rescued more than 2,500 animals by changing the laws in 11 states and asking companies to give the animals to them after testing is done.
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Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon talked to the vice president of the organization, April Arrington, who said they are enthusiastic about the EPA's decision.
While speaking with Arrington, Lemon also met a dog named Winnie. Channel 9 learned she was bred for testing and rescued from a lab in Mexico.
"We believe that they put an inhalation mask on her and forced her to breathe toxic substances down her throat," Arrington said. "She had severe canine PTSD."
According to Arrington, there are more than 100 million animals in test labs across the United States.
"There is no such thing as an illegal experiment here in the United States," she said. "Sadly, that means a laboratory or research institution can do whatever they want to animals for the sake of an experiment or the study."
The new changes would mean labs would now heavily rely on alternative testing such as computer models for their research.
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"It will make an incredible impact on the lives of these survivor animals," Arrington said. "They are living, breathing creatures on this earth and it's our job to protect them."
According to Arrington, about 92% of testing that passes in animal trials fail in human trials, so animal testing often only serves to traumatize those who cannot protect themselves.
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