Victory: PETA Helps Prevent Cruel Experiments on Rats and Fish!
PETA scientists have stepped in and provided crucial evidence that helped stop cruel and unnecessary experiments that would have caused at least 505 animals to suffer.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was insisting that a substance used in washing and cleaning products be tested on animals under the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. Yet, the two horrifically cruel experiments involving rats and fish were not even legally required.
PETA Science Consortium International e.V. had something to say about this and intervened to show support for an appeal against the requested tests, which was started by the manufacturers BASF Colors & Effects GmbH and BASF SE.
Down to the Detail: Which Tests Did PETA Help Stop?
Are you ready for the science? The two tests requested by ECHA would have involved the following practices:
1. Genotoxicity Study
This test is designed to predict a chemical’s capacity to induce mutations or other changes in the human body’s genetic material. Rats would have been force-fed a toxic substance used in washing and cleaning products for 28 days. After those 28 painful and miserable days in a clinical laboratory, the rats wouldn’t have been allowed to go home and recover – they would’ve been cruelly killed and dissected. This test would have also involved giving some of the rats a substance that is known to cause DNA damage and, as a result, can cause cancer.
2. Long-Term Fish Toxicity Study
This is a type of ecotoxicity test conducted to measure a chemical’s effects on the environment and wildlife. The test substance would have been pumped into the water of tanks containing fish embryos for several days. The embryos would have been examined as they grew and developed. Depending on the fish species used, the test may have continued for 28 to 60 days after the young hatched from their eggs. Instead of ever growing up and living free, these individuals would have been confined to the laboratory, used as test subjects in either a control or experimental dose group, and ultimately killed.
In total, at least 505 live vertebrate animals – perhaps more – would have suffered and endured painful procedures in a laboratory.
How Did We Succeed?
Here’s more technical stuff. Under REACH, substances that are produced at higher volumes require additional safety data. More data means more tests, often involving the use of animals.
Supported by PETA scientists, the appeal argued that the substance being tested was no longer being produced in such large quantities and, therefore, the tests were not needed and had no legal justification.
By providing additional evidence for the correct interpretation of the regulation, not only did PETA scientists help win the appeal but the appeal decision also means that ECHA will need to change its future working practices to ensure that this never happens again!
Help Stop More Experiments on Animals
Experiments on animals are cruel and unnecessary. Did you know that it’s actually much better if we don’t test on animals? Chemical safety tests using animals measure the effects that large amounts of single substances have on small animals with short lifespans. They cannot demonstrate the long-term effects that a cocktail of different low-dose chemicals would have on humans. Basing decisions on the results of such tests will not effectively protect human health or the environment.
This is an inspiring victory. PETA scientists have helped put a stop to these two cruel and horrific tests, but we need your support to stop other experiments on animals. Here’s what you can do.
Urge the government to mandate an end to all experiments on animals and instead focus on modern, non-animal research methods:
Help us reach 1 million signatures in our European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). If you’re an EU citizen, sign now to help prevent animals from suffering and dying for cosmetics and all cruel chemicals tests: