Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI welcomes EU vote on REACH

Posted: 6 October 2005

Results on the REACH* vote on animal testing at the latest EU Environment Committee meeting have endorsed key non-animal experiment strategies. Key decisions included:

all animal testing to be subject to prior testing proposal; the automatic replacement of animal tests as soon as alternatives are available; introduction of stakeholder commenting period; the chemical industry to report in detail on animal tests; no data sharing of animal tests to lead to loss of right to register substance concerned; a new committee on alternative tests at the European Chemicals Agency; many animal tests to be replaced by non-animal strategy; and part of the registration fee to go towards development of alternative test methods.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI said: “The compulsory use of alternatives to experiments on animals represents a major step forward to protect the lives of millions of animals that would have been lost to testing. ADI has advocated alternative strategies that are scientifically valid but do not rely on senseless cruelty and brutality to animals. We urge the rest of the European Parliament to vote for non-animal testing in November."

The current REACH animal testing programme has been criticised by experts as being cumbersome, expensive, and unlikely to achieve its aims, such as risk assessments 30,000 chemicals. Animal tests are notoriously expensive as the testing cost for the UK bears out at an estimated £150,000,000-£560,000,000.

An alternative strategy

The NAVS, ADI, and LDF have proposed an alternative strategy in their REACH Report this Spring – a scientifically and technologically advanced testing strategy that uses advanced techniques to deliver the aims of REACH - protection of humans and the environment. It includes:

  • Fast computer screening­ to highlight chemicals of concern
  • Elimination of toxic, persistent and bio accumulative chemicals; no delays through further animal testing
  • One substance, one registration ­ to minimise the risk of duplication
  • Compulsory data sharing
  • Incentives for companies to encourage them to share data
  • Comprehensive database ­ with contributions from all sectors, worldwide
  • Funding of new techniques ­ to ensure modern non-animal methods are rapidly validated and accepted

In addition, it proposes the ECVAM (European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods) be expanded, and provided with greater funding in order to provide a sensible strategy to deal with the amount of information that is sought within a reasonable timeframe.

Acute Toxicity Testing

ADI recently released a second hard-hitting report with evidence to show why the acute toxicity tests in the REACH proposal should adopt a non-animal approach.

This report focuses on an acute toxicity test on rats that was conducted by Inveresk laboratories on behalf of Hempel’s Marine Paints A/S, Denmark. In this test, for the toxic effects of anti-fouling paint for use on the bottom of boats, rats were forced to inhale the paint in an experiment which caused them substantial and prolonged suffering.

ADI’s latest report points out:

  • Such tests should not have been allowed to continue
  • That the REACH regulations will have to be enforced, which stipulate that - if ingredients are already tested or already known to be toxic are present in a product like this paint - then animal tests should not proceed
  • The test does not deliver the required human or environmental safety information required
  • A superior non-animal strategy should be used

* REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) is the EC’s new system to regulate the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances under a new European Chemicals Agency.

To send an e-card, click here

An executive summary of the acute toxicity report is available by clicking here

The full report can be viewed by clicking here

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