Pregnant Animals and Their Unborn Offspring Are Killed in EU Laboratories – Take Action!

Posted by on June 6, 2022 | Permalink

Did you know that right now, pregnant mothers can be force-fed toxic chemicals and their babies killed before they’re even born – all because of EU chemicals and pesticides legislation?

From the paint on your wall to the compounds used to make your mobile phone, items surrounding us contain chemicals that were tested on animals. These tests are archaic, unreliable, and cruel.

It’s estimated that millions of animals have already been killed in such tests, and as the European Commission is set to revise its rules and regulations for chemicals testing, many more are slated to die.

Here’s what animals are put through for chemicals tests and how you can help stop the tests.

Mothers and Unborn Babies Killed

Rita* was force-fed a test substance every day throughout her pregnancy. The day before she was due to give birth, she and her three unborn babies were killed and dissected.

To test just one substance, hundreds of mothers like Rita may be killed. And these tests are not even reliable.

Just think about it. Rats like Rita live for no more than two years, during which they’re exposed to extremely high doses of a single chemical. How can such a test address the long-term effects of chemicals on humans – large animals with long lifespans who are exposed to a cocktail of low doses of chemicals?

Rita didn’t have to die in that cruel test. Modern methods using human cells offer a more accurate way to measure a substance’s harm to developing babies.

Consider the rodent cancer bioassay – a test designed to see if a chemical causes cancer in humans. In just one test, over 400 mice or rats are forced to ingest or inhale chemicals every day for up to two years and then killed to assess the effects of chemical exposure. Yet over 50 years’ worth of data show that the test is unreliable and may fail to predict human responses.

Rabbits’ Skin Burned With Chemicals

Experimenters shaved a patch of fur from Bella’s* back and applied the chemical directly onto her sensitive skin. They wanted to check the severity of the reaction. After this agonising test was over, Bella was killed.

Was that test useful? Not really. Because rabbit skin is substantially more permeable than human skin, using rabbits in irritation or corrosion studies leads to flawed results.

A comparison of data from rabbit tests and human skin–patch tests for 65 substances found that 45% of classifications of chemical irritation potential based on animal tests were incorrect.

If the experimenters had used non-animal approaches instead of torturing Bella, they could have reached outcomes with up to 86% accuracy – way higher than that of data from tests on rabbits.

Dogs Force-Fed Pesticides

A tube was placed down Barney’s* throat so that a chemical used in pesticides could be pumped straight into his stomach. This was done every day for 90 days, after which he was killed and his organs dissected.

Dogs used in such tests may be forced to inhale or ingest substances used in weed killer, rat poison, or insecticide. They may suffer from seizures, internal bleeding, or organ damage and may even die during the experiment. For all animals used in cruel toxicity tests, their torment lasts a lifetime.

Over 2.6 Million Animals Used in Toxicity Tests

Rita, Bella, and Barney are just three of the millions of animals who have been tormented in European laboratories for toxicity tests. The legislative reforms for chemicals regulations, envisioned under the European Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, are likely to result in new tests on many more mice, guinea pigs, birds, fish, frogs, and other animals. There is no justification for these tests.

With the right investment and careful design, the EU could use non-animal approaches to provide the best protection for human health and the environment without wasting resources on an overburdened and unreliable system dependent on the suffering and death of animals.

There Are Better Ways to Test Chemicals

Non-animal methods can be more effective and relevant for predicting potential adverse effects on human health and the environment.

Sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues, together with advanced computer modelling and data analysis, often take less time and money to complete than animal tests.

We Have the Power to Stop These Tests – Take Action!

Over 600,000 EU citizens have already joined our campaign against experiments on animals. We urgently need to reach 1 million signatures on our European citizens’ initiative (ECI).

If you’re an EU citizen, regardless of where you live, please sign the ECI now:

You must sign the initiative only once.

If you are not an EU citizen or have already signed, you can still use your voice for animals by sharing the ECI! Share the link as much as you can, and ask others to do the same. Every signature matters for animals who are suffering in cages for pointless experiments.



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*The names of the animals were added – in laboratories, animals are known only as a number on a checklist.