In the 2021 New Approach Methods Work Plan published by US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) on December 12, 2021, no reference is made to the memo signed by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in 2019, directing “the agency to aggressively reduce animal testing, including reducing mammal study requests and funding 30% by 2025 and completely eliminating them by 2035“. Instead, the new workplan discusses short- and long-term strategies up until 2024 to accomplish its objectives, which are specified as “to ensure its [EPA’s] regulatory framework is robust and flexible enough to accommodate the development and the use of NAMs; establish baselines, measurements and reporting mechanisms to track progress in meeting its goals; establish scientific confidence in NAMs and demonstrate application to regulatory decisions; develop NAMs that fill critical information needs; and continue to engage and communicate with stakeholders to incorporate their knowledge and address concerns as EPA moves away from vertebrate animal testing.”

According to a statement made by EPA to Inside TSCA, the deadlines were dropped because, “While the goals/dates in the original work plan may have been intended to spur focus and action, the dates themselves became the primary focus of discussion within the scientific and stakeholder communities as opposed to what actions or path the Agency should take in the near-term. As a result, the goals/dates were removed to shift the focus towards these actions as represented by the objectives, strategies, and deliverables outlined in the document”.

Similarly, in the Netherlands, The State Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Dutch government, Martijn van Dam, in 2016 expressed the ambition to phase out animal testing for research on the safety of chemicals by 2025, stating that the Netherlands wanted to be a “world leader” in innovation without the use of laboratory animals. This ambition was based on an NCad opinion. The current Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, launched the Transition Programme for Innovation without the use of animals (TPI) in June 2018; however, as stated in a letter by Minister Schouten to the lower house of parliament in December 2018, the ambition was reformulated as ‘The Netherlands as a forerunner in the international transition with animal-free innovation’, and the target date was less strictly defined, because, „By letting go of the year, and with it resistance, progress can be made. But this does not mean that the ambition for animal-free innovation has been abandoned or lessened”.