Other Laws

Dissection Choice
State dissection choice laws allow students to refuse to participate in classroom exercises–particularly dissections–that harm animals. These laws usually require the school to notify students and/or their parents at the beginning of a course when animal dissection is part of its curriculum, and they are intended to allow students the right to choose humane alternatives, without being penalized for doing so. Today there are 16 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia) and Washington, DC, that have such state laws or policies for K-12 students. Click here for more information of dissection choice laws and policies. To learn more about dissection choice and dissection alternatives, visit www.Animalearn.org.

Pound Seizure
Pound seizure is the sale or release of dogs and cats from a pound or shelter to a research, testing, or educational facility. Beginning in the 1940s, many state laws were passed that required pounds and shelters to release dogs and cats to research laboratories. Though these pound seizure laws were enacted in the 1940s and 1950s, some of them still exist today. Others have been repealed or amended, as a result of demands of the animal protection community. Look up the pound seizure law in your state. To learn more about pound seizure, visit www.BanPoundSeizure.org.

The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 required the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to establish criteria for the approval and acceptance of scientifically valid non-animal alternative test methods. In order to fulfill this requirement, the Director of NIEHS established the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). ICCVAM was tasked with implementing a process by which new test methods could be evaluated and to coordinate cross-agency efforts related to the development, validation, acceptance, and national and international harmonization of toxicological test methods. ICCVAM, comprised of 15 federal regulatory and research agencies that use, generate, or disseminate toxicological information, was established as a permanent interagency committee with passage of the ICCVAM Authorization Act of 2000. The Committee conducts technical evaluations of new, revised and alternative test methods, and promotes the scientific validation and regulatory acceptance of test methods that refine, reduce, or replace animal use. Click here for more information about ICCVAM and its progress.

Chimp Retirement
AAVS was instrumental in aiding the development of the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection (CHIMP) Act, legislation that established a retirement system for chimpanzees no longer needed in research. The final version of the bill was signed into law in 2000. Unfortunately, the bill did not call for the permanent retirement of chimpanzees and permitted the removal of chimps for use in research if certain criteria were met. In 2005, Chimp Haven opened its doors as the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary required under the CHIMP Act. It is a home where chimpanzees can live out their lives in large, naturalistic enclosures in complex social groups. In 2007, Chimp Haven is Home Act, prohibiting the removal of chimpanzees from retirement for research purposes, was signed into law. Now all chimpanzees used in research that enter the retirement system will be granted permanent sanctuary for the rest of their lives. Click here for more information about Chimp Haven. Click here for more information about the use of chimpanzees in research.
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