In what can only be the start of a new era, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Commission have announced measures to end archaic and painful animal testing for industrial chemicals. .
Drs Julia Baines and Tina Stibbe, scientists from PETA UK and PETA Germany, heard this news firsthand at the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing's annual conference, "Accelerating the Transition to sustainable and animal-free. Joanna Drake, European Commission Deputy Director General for the Environment, announced that the Commission and ECHA are "committed to developing a European roadmap for the total replacement of animal testing in the chemicals legislation.
ECHA is listening
In her announcement, Ms Drake notes that the Commission is fully aware of the continued pressure exerted by the European Parliament's resolution on plans and actions to accelerate the transition to animal-free innovation in research, testing regulations and education, and by the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) 'Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics' , which calls for a plan to end animal testing.
This long-awaited change is the result of years of campaigning by PETA entities – and it is heartening that after the ECI was signed by more than 1.4 million European citizens
Poisoned, burned and killed – animals suffer in EU labs
From the paint on your walls to the compounds used to make your cell phone, many items contain chemicals that have been tested on animals.
In laboratories, animals are not given names. They are only known by number, but each of them is a sensitive individual who can feel pain, fear, and loneliness.
A tube can be placed down a mouse's throat so that a chemical used in motor oil is injected directly into its stomach. Then she will be killed and her organs dissected. Mice may experience seizures, internal bleeding or organ damage, or even die during the experiment. None of them will experience life outside the laboratory.
Rats can be force-fed a test substance daily during pregnancy. The day before giving birth, they will be killed and dissected with their unborn babies.
Experimenters can shave some of the fur off a rabbit's back and apply a chemical directly to its sensitive skin in order to see the severity of the reaction. Once this agonizing test is completed, he will be killed.
There are better ways to test chemicals
Non-animal methods may be more effective and relevant in predicting potential adverse effects on human health and the environment.
Sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues, as well as advanced computer modeling and data analysis, often require less time and money than animal testing.
We hope that the next step will be the adoption of a roadmap for the future of science, developed by PETA scientists in various disciplines, known as the Research Modernization Deal , which is a framework to replace outdated animal testing by state-of-the-art, non-animal research methods. We will soon be in contact with ECHA and the Commission to discuss this important development, which will save countless lives – of humans and other animals.