PETA And Affiliates Top Usd 1 Million In Grants To Develop Non-Animal Testing Methods

For Immediate Release:
15 August 2011

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

London – Following two new grants awarded to researchers developing modern, cost-effective alternatives to cruel animal-based testing methods, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK and its international affiliates have now provided more than $1 million in donations to research laboratories. This funding rivals the contributions of many multibillion-pound chemical and cosmetics companies that will benefit from these non-animal methods.

“Funding research for non-animal testing methods is an important element in our campaigns”, says Alistair Currie, policy adviser at PETA. “The more modern, non-animal testing methods we have, the fewer animals will suffer and die in archaic and irrelevant tests.”

In the first-ever charity-funded validation study for a non-animal method, PETA is giving an £80,000 ($130,000) grant to US-based CeeTox for the validation of a non-animal skin allergy test intended to replace an animal method commonly used to test cosmetics. In the current animal tests, 32 to 80 guinea pigs or 16 to 60 mice have chemical substances smeared onto their skins or injected into their bodies repeatedly. These tests take weeks to conduct and cost between £2,500 and more than £4,000. The non-animal test takes three to four days and costs less than half what the animal tests cost. This test is especially timely because as of 2013, the marketing of cosmetics that have been tested on animals will no longer be allowed in the European Union. It also represents the first validation of a non-animal method funded by a non-governmental organisation.

Through the McGrath Family Foundation, which supports PETA US’ efforts to replace animals in laboratories with modern alternatives, PETA US has given a $62,000 (£39,000) grant to the International QSAR Foundation to support the acceptance of an alternative to carcinogenicity testing for drug development, cosmetics ingredients, and chemical testing. Currently, every time that a drug or a chemical is tested on animals to see if it causes cancer, as many as 400 animals are force-fed that drug or chemical for one to two years. Besides using no animals whatsoever, the new test will also be more precise than the animal-based tests.

Among PETA’s previous grants was one in support of the validation of a non-animal skin irritation method that was subsequently accepted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and that has replaced the use of rabbits for chemical testing worldwide.