WCW’s FOIA to Freedom campaign strategy has led to a last minute pardon that EVERYONE will be very hoppy about:
As first reported in the Washington Times, outgoing EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced today that the agency will be retiring, not killing, rabbits who survived the agency’s sick and wasteful animal experiments White Coat Waste Project found, exposed, and shut down.
Lil Wayne and Steve Bannon were among those last-minute Trump pardons but it wasn’t just people that got a reprieve as the old administration sunset. Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, in one of his very last acts, directed the agency to retire the bunny rabbits still remaining in EPA laboratories and put them up for adoption. He did so in a memo dated yesterday. Wheeler had earlier directed EPA to sharply reduce animal testing with an eye towards eliminating it as much as possible by 2035. Biden has a rescue dog, so it’s possible that policy will continue.
This move enjoys strong bipartisan support. A poll of over 1,000 taxpayers conducted in November 2020 by Lincoln Park Strategies finds 70 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Republicans support the EPA retiring animals used in labs.
We could not be more thrilled at this victory, especially given the abuse these rabbits have been subjected to, by government white coats who used your money, and a lot of it, to do it.
The EPA’s massive taxpayer-funded animal testing program—which WCW found, exposed, and defunded with the help of key Congressional Waste Warriors and the grassroots support of our 3 million members—used 20,000 rabbits, mice, and other animals each year in wasteful, cruel, expensive experiments.
You can read the sickening details of what these animals were subjected to, on your dime, in our previous blog.
Hint: our investigators exposed how the EPA placed male rabbits in a cage with a female “teaser” rabbit.
In September 2019, about a year after WCW launched our campaign to dump the EPA’s toxic waste, the agency announced the most comprehensive plan in U.S. government history to completely end “horrific and inhumane” animal testing exposed by WCW and opposed by a supermajority of taxpayers.
The EPA became the first agency ever to set a benchmark and timeline for the complete phase-out of taxpayer-funded animal testing.
We honored Administrator Wheeler for his historic contributions to ending taxpayer-funded animal experimentation, awarding him White Coat Waste Project’s first-ever Greenbaum Policy Pioneer Award for his visionary leadership.
Then we set out to save the survivors with the help of a coalition of bipartisan lawmakers including U.S. Representatives Ken Calvert (R-CA), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Gary Peters (D-MI), and the 80-plus other House and Senate cosponsors of the AFTER Act.
We “bought” these animals. We should have a say in what happens to them now.
And now we do!
FOIA to Freedom is how we do it. We find wasteful taxpayer-funded animal experiments through Freedom of Information Act investigations, expose the waste, defund the waste—and then make the government retire the lab survivors instead of killing them.
It’s how we saved 26 squirrel monkeys from the Food and Drug Administration’s $5.5 million nicotine addiction studies, who now live at a primate sanctuary in Florida. It’s how we saved the survivors of the USDA’s $22 million “Kitten Slaughterhouse” lab, after we got that hellhole shut down.
And now it’s how we’ve now saved the rabbits who were abused in cruel, wasteful EPA experiments.
From FOIA to Freedom, these survivors, too, will get the retirements they deserve.
Please join us in thanking former Administrator Wheeler and the EPA for his groundbreaking and visionary leadership in ending taxpayer-funded animal testing, and for retiring the rabbit survivors of the testing he’s ended.