Euro Parliament votes to replace animal chemical tests with alternatives
Commission must listen to Europe’s elected representatives and ensure EU chemicals strategy looks beyond outdated, unreliable animal tests
The European Parliament today voted to replace chemical tests on animal with new methods which it said need more funding to speed up development and uptake. On the proposed EU chemicals strategy for sustainability, the EP has made it clear that more animal testing is not the way to ensure better protection for people or the environment from hazardous chemicals. In 2017 there were 9.6 million animal tests related to research in the EU.
The strategy is a key part of the Commission’s Green Deal to achieve zero pollution and a toxic-free environment. There are on average delays of four years from the scientific validation of a non-animal method to its publication in the Test Methods Regulation to allow use in the EU. The European Ombudsman has recommended the Commission simplifies and speeds up the process for introducing new methods, but more needs to be done. The resolution also calls for the European Chemicals Agency to dedicate resources to promote non-animal testing methods. By 2018, over 2.2 million animals had been used in tests for chemical registrations with ECHA (an annual average of 275,000). Kerry Postlewhite, our Director of Public Affairs said: “Tackling the damaging effects of toxic chemicals on health and the environment is crucial but believing that this can be done using tests on animals is not only cruel, outdated and unethical, it is also bad science. We welcome the European Parliament’s stance and hope that, as they design the EU’s new chemicals strategy over the next few months, officials take notice of what the elected representatives have said.” The finalised chemicals strategy will be published later in 2020, followed by an action plan in 2021.
"Using tests on animals is not only cruel, outdated and unethical, it is also bad science."