Massive Eu Test Programme Fails To Regulate Deadly Animal Tests

For Immediate Release:
19 July 2011

Sandra Smiley +44 (0)207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

London – A new advertisement from PETA, appearing in the influential European Union (EU) magazine The Parliament, is taking the European Commission to task for allowing the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) chemicals testing programme to kill tens of thousands of animals in avoidable chemical tests despite the legal requirement that REACH perform tests on animals only as a last resort. More than 200,000 animals have already been killed in tests for REACH, with millions more deaths expected in the next seven years. In an urgent letter sent to European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik, PETA is calling on the European Commission to require that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) assess when animal testing could have been avoided in chemical company submissions and to establish penalties for companies that conduct animal tests when non-animal methods are available.

“Fine words in the legislation about using animals as a last resort are meaningless if companies ignore them and the regulators supposed to police them fall down on the job”, says PETA’s policy adviser, Alistair Currie. “Millions more animals are slated to be used for REACH. The European Commission needs to take immediate and decisive action to ensure that not one animal test that can be avoided under the law ever takes place.”

A new ECHA report has revealed many apparent breaches of the “last resort” policy, which include the following:
• Up to 1,000 animals were used in painful skin and eye irritation tests, even though fully accepted non-animal methods exist, some of which are even written into EU legislation.
• An estimated 58,000 animals suffered and died in tests that were conducted without prior approval.
• Approximately 140,000 animals died in preliminary tests despite advice from ECHA that these tests could be omitted if proposals were made for more comprehensive testing to be conducted instead.
PETA’s letter to European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik is available upon request.

Figures: European Coalition to End Animal Experiments