The Eu Chemicals Testing Strategy

For Immediate Release:
23rd January, 2001

Andrew Butler 020 8870 3966


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) have joined forces to fight a massive new European chemical testing programme which could mean suffering and death for as many as 10 million animals over the next 20 years.

Despite an EU commitment to reduce animal tests by 50% in 2000, the European Commission is now gearing up for the largest toxicity testing programme of its kind in Europe’s history. Modelled on the controversial and much criticised HPV chemical testing programme in the United States, the EU programme will test up to 100,000 chemicals, which have been in use since before 1981, on as many as 500,000 animals in each year of the programme’s duration.

While acknowledging the importance of establishing the safety of chemicals, leading scientific experts state that the scheme is fundamentally flawed and that cutting-edge non-animal tests should be used instead. Dr Gill Langley of the Dr Hadwen Trusts points out that, “Extensive safety testing on millions of animals will seriously delay the acquisition of important safety information, because many of these tests are expensive, time-consuming and of dubious scientific value.” Furthermore, a wealth of data already exists for these chemicals, which have all been in use for at least two decades.

Animal protection organisations across Europe are urging their supporters to write to Margo Wallströme, EC Environment Commissioner, (see enclosed postcard) urging her to develop a European Chemicals Policy that will effectively protect the health and well-being of consumers, wildlife and the environment without resorting to outmoded and unreliable animal tests.

Many environmental organisations, including Greenpeace International and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, strongly oppose the inclusion of animal tests in the European Chemicals Policy and are supporting PETA and the BUAV in their campaign.

For further information visit:

Or contact: Andrew Butler
UK Representative
PETA Europe
Tel: 020 8870 3966