TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph F. Vitale and Loretta Weinberg which would prohibit animal testing when a federally-recommended alternative exists was unanimously approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.
“Animal testing is cruel and inhumane, and whenever possible, companies should seek safer, less barbaric alternatives,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “Our society’s decency standards, and technological innovations, have advanced to the point that needlessly harming animals for product testing can and should be avoided. However, certain profit-driven companies still see cruel animal testing methods as a viable business practice, and for those companies, we’re pushing this bill forward.”
“When an individual person abuses an animal, it’s considered a warning sign for sociopath behavior,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “When a cosmetics manufacturer abuses an animal, it’s considered business-as-usual. We need to step in to ensure overtly cruel, insensitive animal testing does not continue in the State of New Jersey.”
The bill, S-1956, would prohibit product testing with traditional animal test methods when federally-recognized alternatives exist. The bill would also allow for injunctive relief, enforced by the Attorney General, on companies currently conducting animal testing that would be considered unlawful under the bill. The bill would exclude any animal testing being conducted for the purposes of medical research.
“We’re not trying to stand in the way of medical progress with this bill,” said Senator Vitale. “As much as I wish it weren’t so, animal testing is sometimes the safest route to perfect medical treatments for humans. However, there’s no reason for an animal to suffer so a manufacturer can save a few bucks on more expensive, more humane testing methods.”
“The exploitation of animals to expand manufacturers’ profit margins is simply wrong,” said Senator Weinberg. “As we begin building lifelike computer-generated models and other humane alternatives to animal testing, we need to stop those companies that continue the old, cruel methods because it’s more ‘cost-effective.’ In our modern society, we should seek out alternatives to animal testing whenever possible, and continue developing new testing techniques to minimize cruel animal testing into the future.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.