Posted by Dr Katy Taylor on 4th January 2018
Why science matters
2017 was another productive year for our science team
One of our biggest achievements of 2017 came during the summer, when our science team announced that thousands of tests on animals proposed by chemical companies have been avoided thanks to our work.
Along with our European partners, Cruelty Free International scientists have performed a vital role in commenting on testing proposals submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by companies wanting to test the safety of their chemicals on animals. So far, our comments were successful in 50 testing proposals, saving an estimated minimum of 35,000 animals from cruel and unnecessary suffering. Our experts were able to show in these cases that the proposed tests weren’t legally required or scientifically necessary. In some cases we found that data for the chemical already existed.
Here are some of our other achievements last year that will have a positive impact on animals:
- After pressure from our science team and European colleagues, ECHA has confirmed that it will reject proposals to test chemicals on animals if an alternative approach is available and/or companies have not demonstrated some evidence of having considered alternatives.
- We released a new report on the alternatives available to animal testing for cosmetics, which was presented to scientists at the 10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Seattle in support of our high-profile United Nations campaign. The report, funded by The Body Shop, outlines how alternatives are not only more ethical but also more reliable, faster and cheaper than the animal tests they replace.
- Our scientists published a paper about ground-breaking ethical research on companion dogs to further the case against experimenting on our best friends.
- Our paper comparing the quality of publicly available summaries of animal experiments produced by researchers in the UK and Germany was published in ALTEX. We have shown that the summaries are incomplete and biased. The lead unit of the European Commission has already circulated it to all national regulators and asked them to take the recommendations on board.
- Over the past two years we have submitted comments on almost 20 EU and international regulatory guidelines, most of which focus on human and veterinary medicines testing. The final adopted versions of half of these guidelines have now been published and the majority have incorporated a number of our comments and/or suggestions. Our work has led to improved language on the prioritisation of non-animal methods and the 3Rs principles, clarification on how alternative methods can be used and the deletion of language that promoted cruel or redundant animal tests.
With your help we will continue to do everything we can to save animals from cruel tests. Please donate today to help us carry out research into humane alternatives and change the law to stop these appalling tests once and for all.