TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators Joseph F. Vitale and Loretta Weinberg which would prohibit animal testing when a federally-recommended alternative exists was approved today by the Senate, by a vote of 33-0.
“Wherever possible, we have a moral responsibility to seek more humane alternatives to animal testing,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “With advances in technology, many of the older testing methods are being replaced with computer-generated models and other less cruel alternatives. Some of these alternatives may be more expensive than traditional animal testing, but the decision to use alternatives to animal testing should be one of conscience, not costliness.”
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.
“Obviously, there are certain times when alternative testing cannot be used,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “This bill makes specific exclusions for medical research, and relies on federally-approved research practices to designate what alternatives should be used. However, when viable alternatives exist, we should absolutely not harm animals in the pursuit of research.”
The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee in May. It now heads to the Governor to be signed into law.