Why REACH Is Letting Animals Down
This week, we learned that the European law Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH), which is meant to ensure that chemicals are tested on animals only as a last resort has failed miserably to protect thousands of animals from suffering and death.
According to a report published this week by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the legislation failed to stop the following atrocities:
- Approximately 2,300 animals have had chemicals applied to their sensitive eyes or skin in new experiments, despite the fact that non-animal methods are available.
- One hundred sixty-seven experiments on animals were completed without prior approval from the ECHA with no justification, meaning that potentially thousands of animals could have been spared.
REACH is the largest animal testing programme in the world, with upwards of 50 million animals estimated to suffer and die in experiments. But the legislation is clear: testing on animals must be avoided whenever possible and conducted only when all other relevant avenues have been exhausted. The ECHA and the European Commission need to take action to protect animals in line with the law.
As Dr Gilly Stoddart, PETA’s science adviser, says:
It is scandalous that the ECHA has not compelled all companies to avoid animal tests wherever possible and that some continue to test on animals when it can be avoided. It is unconscionable that animals are dying as a result of bureaucratic indifference.
PETA has already submitted a complaint to the European Ombudsman about the ECHA’s failure to ensure that tests on animals are kept to a minimum, and we’re awaiting the results. We won’t stop fighting to keep animal out of laboratories – and you can help, too!
If you agree that rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and other animals shouldn’t have poisons dripped into their eyes, smeared onto their skin or forced down their throats, please take action by asking the Home Office to ban animal testing for household products and their ingredients: