Volkswagen pledges to stop animal testing

Volkswagen pledges to stop animal testing

Volkswagen is vowing to stop funding experiments on animals after pressure from animal rights groups and amid fallout from an emissions-cheating scandal.

It was revealed earlier this year that the German automaker helped finance experiments on macaque monkeys to research the health effects of diesel emissions.

The New York Times reported Monday that Volkswagen pledged to stop funding the testing in a letter to the German branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The company suspended its top lobbyist after facing backlash over the experiments. PETA Germany has been calling on Volkswagen to end the tests, which sprayed diesel exhaust at monkeys in airtight chambers in order to test the effects.

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive, said in the letter that while the studies did not violate laws, they raised ethical issues, according to the Times.

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PETA praised the move, saying the company “did the right thing.”

“PETA is calling on other carmakers that still test on animals to follow suit and embrace modern and humane, animal-free research methods instead,” said Kathy Guillermo, a senior vice president for PETA.

The decision to stop financing the experiments is Volkswagen’s latest effort to recover from the international emissions-cheating scandal. The company has reached several settlements related to its alleged attempts to deceive U.S. emissions tests in 2015.

Former CEO Martin Winterkorn, who resigned at the height of the scandal in 2015, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on wire fraud and conspiracy charges earlier this year.