Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Sea-change in industry attitudes before tomorrow’s EU vote on REACH

Posted: 16 November 2005

Key industry sectors commit to 3Rs to replace the use of laboratory animals in testing

Tomorrow (17 November) in Brussels, MEPs will decide the fate of millions of laboratory animals as they vote on REACH and whether to press ahead with the biggest animal testing programme that the world has ever seen. Animal Defenders International (ADI) is campaigning to see animal tests replaced by non-animal methods, a position that is now supported by industry throughout the EU.

At the Brussels Conference, ‘Europe Goes Alternative’, hosted by European Commissioners Günter Verheugen (Enterprise) and Janez Potocnik (Research), the industries said that they would work together and in partnership with the Commission to identify new alternative approaches to animal testing and to collaborate with all those concerned with the validation of new tests in order to speed up their acceptance and implementation.

A sea change in industry attitudes was evident on 7th November in Brussels, when the latest declaration was agreed committing support for new approaches to refine, reduce, and replace the use of laboratory animals in testing (the so-called 3Rs) by key industry sectors. These represented the European chemical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, soap and detergents, animal health, and crop protection industries.
Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI, who attended the Conference confirmed: “The commitment of these industries to the use of alternatives to experiments on animals is an important step 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 on 17 November."

The partnership between the stakeholders will, under the leadership of the Commission, include the development and publication of an ‘Action Plan’ by the first quarter of 2006, to implement practical aspects of the declaration, with annual reports on progress. All industry sectors agree to promote and implement the 3 Rs, and recognise that the increasing pace of scientific progress should also help speed up the development of new approaches, say industry associations.

Dr. Arturo Puig, Director of Documentation and Regulatory Affairs at Lipotec Spain, who attended the conference, said: “Lipotec supports the alternatives to animal testing. As a cosmetic raw material manufacturer, in recent years we have stopped using animals for skin irritation and sensitisation testing and we now conduct these tests on panels of human volunteers.”

In the Institut Hayek’s Report, entitled ‘Europe’s Global REACH: Costly for the World, Suicidal for Europe’, another delegate and the report’s author, Angela Logomasini, director of Risk & Environmental Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, states: “The findings from REACH animal tests are likely to encourage regulators to eliminate valuable products that are relatively safe, and unnecessarily sacrifice a lot of rodents in the process.”

Click here to read the executive summary of our submission on acute toxicity testing.

Click here to read our submission on acute toxicity testing.

Click here to read our proposal for an alternative testing strategy.

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