PETA Advises Veterinary Vaccine Manufacturers That New Home Office Rules Mean An End To Some Batch Tests

For Immediate Release:
6 July 2010

Alistair Currie 0207 357 9229, ext 245; [email protected]
Martin Mallon 0207 357 9229, ext 245; [email protected]

London – The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation (PETA) has sent a stakeholder alert to UK-based makers of veterinary vaccines and several contract research companies informing them that the Home Office is changing its policy to ensure that avoidable veterinary vaccine tests on animals are no longer approved. Tightened procedures now apply to the Target Animal Batch Safety Test (TABST). Between 50 and 100 mammals and hundreds of chickens are estimated to be used in these tests in the UK each year.

Following changes to the European Pharmacopoeia, guidance adopted by the European Medicines Agency in 2005 allowed companies to avoid conducting TABST if consistency between production batches was demonstrated. Under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, the use of animals should no longer have been permitted when this approach was available. In 2008, PETA learned that the Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Division did not keep records that would allow it to assess whether testing that could avoided under the rules was still being licensed. The following are the result of ongoing pressure from PETA:

 – The UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate agreed to stop charging companies that applied for waivers to discontinue the test.

 – The Home Office investigated existing licences to ascertain whether TABSTs were being conducted. As a result, one company that was still conducting animal tests and had not applied for a waiver for all products agreed to do so.

 – Guidelines for Home Office Inspectors are being finalised and future generic Home Office licences will contain provisions to ensure that avoidable TABSTs are not conducted.

In the light of this information, PETA is issuing its first stakeholder alert to UK industry.

“Although greatly concerned that non-required animal tests were conducted after falling through bureaucratic cracks, we commend the Home Office for responding to our concerns over the needless suffering that has been caused”, says PETA’s policy adviser, Alistair Currie. “PETA will keep a close eye on this issue and, if necessary, let industry stakeholders know of any further developments through future stakeholder alerts. We are pleased to have played a role in bringing about a change that will save many animals’ lives.”

PETA’s stakeholder alert is available upon request. For more information, please visit