Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI welcomes concessions but EU vote still condemns animals to die in unnecessary tests

Posted: 18 November 2005

The fate of millions of laboratory animals has been decided by today’s vote by the European Parliament on REACH*, which, despite some significant concessions, is likely to see the EU press ahead with the biggest animal testing programme that the world has ever seen.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) believes an opportunity to modernise testing methods and eliminate animal testing has been missed. 20 amendments, supported by the Environment Committee, putting forward non-animal methods instead of animal tests have been rejected.

Jan Creamer, ADI’s chief executive, commented after the result: “We are bitterly disappointed that the European Parliament has seen fit to reject 20 amendments put forward in the Environment Committee report to use alternatives to experiments on animals. Consequently, REACH remains locked into animal testing, which is like insisting people use typewriters instead of computers. Animal tests are inefficient, outdated, and inaccurate - it is time for change.”

ADI is, however, pleased that several of its key campaign demands have been met including: compulsory sharing of animal test data and increased funding for the development and evaluation of modern non-animal test methods. Also, the new Chemicals Agency will work on developing non-animal tests – if effective, this could finally see the modernisation of test methods across Europe.

Jan Creamer: “I must thank our tens of thousands of supporters who have, over the past two years, distributed hundreds of thousands of leaflets and contacted their MEPs. This action has undoubtedly had a huge impact on today’s vote. But we are bitterly disappointed that a chance to change the way Europe approaches safety testing has not been taken.”

ADI is committed to effective safety testing, and through its Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, developed a British Standard Test for testing the toxicity of dental fillings, and is currently funding several cell culture projects to assess neurotoxicity.

The 20 rejected amendments cover the following:

  • replacement of animal tests for skin sensitisation
  • replacement of animals mutagenicity studies
  • in-vitro test strategy for acute toxicity
  • replacement of animal tests for skin irritation
  • deletion of animal tests for eye irritation
  • addition of further in-vitro mutagenicity studies
  • replacement of animal tests for repeated dose toxicity
  • replacement of animal test for reproductive toxicity
  • replacement of animal test for fish toxicity
  • non-animal mutagenicity tests
  • repeated dose toxicity
  • replacement of animal test for reproductive toxicity
  • deletion fish toxicity testing
  • mutagenicity
  • deletion of long term animal repeat dose toxicity test
  • deletion of animal test for reproductive toxicity
  • replacement of animal test for carcinogenicity
  • deletion of long term bird reproductive toxicity study

*REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals – the EU’s new system to regulate the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances under a new European Chemicals Agency.

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