UK Ends Cruel Mouse Test, US Poised to Do the Same

Posted by on May 24, 2012 | Permalink

In very welcome news, the UK’s Food Standards Agency announced last week that it has completely replaced the painful and often fatal test on mice that used to be conducted to identify poisonous contaminants in shellfish. After consistent pressure from PETA and PETA US on both UK and EU authorities, the European Union introduced a law in 2010 that would phase out the test by 2015: we’re delighted that the UK has beaten the deadline by years. (You can learn more about the test and its replacement here –  although I warn you that details of what happened to the mice are difficult to read.)

Two Sickly White MiceNow, with the help of PETA US, the United States is replacing its last animal-based shellfish toxicity test, too. PETA US has helped fund a critical license which has made it possible for an alternative testing method developed by the Food and Drug Administration to be used in US fisheries. PETA US’ scientists are also contacting all US fisheries to urge them to implement this scientifically superior and more efficient method.

The new test is a much more humane method for detecting these deadly toxins and uses tissue from one animal instead of more than 1,000 live animals. Not only does the new test have the potential to save tens of thousands of animals a year, like many alternative methods, it is also scientifically superior and far less expensive.

PETA US’ hard work will allow the US to use 21st century testing methods and eliminate the use of live mice for shellfish monitoring – much as PETA and our affiliates have helped to accomplish in the EU.

Of course, none of this testing would be needed if people didn’t eat shellfish in the first place. Take the Pledge to Be Vegan.