Victories, Progress and Patience

Posted by 5 years ago | Permalink | Comments (4)

It’s always fantastic to be involved in an intense campaign that achieves quick results for animals. Two weeks ago, we stopped an Air France shipment of monkeys destined for an animal laboratory, and the week before, we persuaded the government to refuse permission for a new beagle-breeding farm.

However, we also make slow and steady progress in areas that impact thousands and even millions of animals. For instance, we have just learned of a small but vital change that removes some of the bureaucratic obstacles preventing companies from bypassing animal testing.

Because vaccines are made from live viruses, there can be variations in the strength and safety of different batches of the same vaccine. To detect this problem in veterinary vaccines, each new batch has traditionally been tested on the “target” animals (ie, on cows for cow vaccines, on cats for cat vaccines, etc) in a practice known as “target animal batch safety testing”, or TABST.

Following a study of the scientific and ethical aspects of this test, the European Commission stated in 2002 that the routine use of TABST was not considered relevant and that the testing “appeared to be superfluous”. In 2005, a rule introduced in Europe took these findings into account and allowed companies to forgo TABST if they proved their batches to be reliable.

In 2008, PETA UK learned that the UK government was not ensuring that companies used the mechanism that allowed them to avoid animal testing – they were even charging companies to waive the tests! After some “targeted” work, we finally closed those loopholes.

We then pressed the issue with the European Medicines Agency, which has now published new guidelines designed to simplify the process for companies applying to waive the tests – guidelines that will save animals’ lives and help implement the 2005 ruling at long last.

In another animal-testing issue, you can help PETA ensure that the UK law governing animal tests isn’t watered down by a new European Union Directive, 2010/63/EU, which describes protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Please contact the government today.



  • Brien Comerford commented on February 19, 2012 at 2:14 am

    When are intellectually and morally moronic reserachers finally going to cease and desist from painfully performing monstrous tests on innocent and sentient animals.

  • Bob commented on March 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    You do realise that not only is it Law to test on animals, but how many people rely on animal testing to live; Cancer, epileptics, diabetics, depression, asthma, Crohn’s disease. I could go on and on. By protesting and trying to stop animal testing, these people, and maybe you, will suffer painful deaths. I would love to see an alternative, but rather than spend your time ruining scientists lives trying to help people. Help them find and alternative. An example of a medicine not tested on animals was Thalidomide and we all remember what happened there. It would have only taken 5 pregnant rats to see what happened. We have animal rights activists in Germany to thank for that outbreak. Try finding an alternative!

    • Imogen Surguy commented on October 15, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Dear ‘Bob’,
      Imagine this: an outbreak of a contagious disease has occurred in humans. A select group of pregnant women are being tested on to find a cure. Don’t you think that’s wrong!
      Answer this: is it right for humans to be tested on? I didn’t think so. So why are animals any different! We’ve concocted some amazing vaccines and medicines with the help of animals, but our society is too advanced and morally aware to be able to let this continue. If people were to find an alternative, it would be so much safer, easier, more reliable and more ethically correct.

      Our scientists today are brilliant, but even they must know how wrong it is we use fellow mammals and inhabitants of planet Earth (which by the way DOESN’T belong to humans) for our own scientific breakthroughs.

      Animals have to die every day for humans’ sake so why is it so wrong the other way around!

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