European Chemicals Agency Listens to Compassionate Scientists, Promises to Focus on Alternatives to Animal Testing
Progress: following sustained efforts by PETA, our international affiliates and the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is finally putting a spotlight on non-animal testing methods.
REACH is the largest chemical testing programme in the world, and one of our major concerns is that ECHA, which is responsible for overseeing it, hasn’t been doing all it should to ensure that companies minimise the number of animals they use. This means that, potentially, thousands of animals could be dying in painful and avoidable experiments.
But now, ECHA has said publicly that it will make promoting non-animal methods a priority. This promising move follows two Ombudsman decisions, including one in response to a complaint from PETA, and a precedent-setting Board of Appeal decision for which the Science Consortium provided instrumental evidence.
The Science Consortium has been unwavering in its efforts to promote non-animal methods for the purpose of REACH – commenting on testing proposals submitted by companies and suggesting ways to avoid tests on animals, reviewing guidance and documentation published by ECHA, participating in stakeholder meetings and promoting non-animal methods at every opportunity. And compassionate Europeans have played a role, too – last year, 24,000 people signed our open letter to ECHA urging it to do more to reduce animal suffering.
The number of animals expected to be used under REACH is set to skyrocket in the coming years, so it’s more important than ever that companies use non-animal methods wherever possible. PETA’s scientists will be monitoring ECHA’s activities closely to make sure that they practise what they preach, and we will continue to urge ECHA to accept humane 21st-century toxicology techniques to ensure that tests on animals are only ever conducted as a last resort.
To learn more, please visit the PETA International Science Consortium website, PISCltd.org.uk.