16th May 2016
200,000 animals could be saved by alternative tests
Decision-makers approve alternative to cruel skin allergy test on mice and guinea pigs
200,000 mice and guinea pigs could be saved from cruel skin sensitisation tests thanks to moves by international decision-makers last month.
Countries working as part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agreed that a cell based test should be added to the testing strategy for skin allergy. The h-Clat is an in vitro test that uses human cells.
Approval of this test means it is more likely that companies will use alternatives to avoid cruel animal tests.
Our scientists took part in the expert groups that agreed these new OECD test guidelines. We also submitted evidence to the European Commission to encourage them to update REACH to enable them to be used.
At the same time, European decision-makers have updated EU chemicals testing legislation (REACH) to insist that companies use these alternative tests wherever possible.
The cruel skin sensitisation test on mice and guinea pigs is one of ten animal experiments we’ve highlighted as redundant as part of our RAT (Replace Animal Tests) list campaign. We are working to remove these ten tests – and save up to half a million animals.
Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free International said, “We are delighted that the final pieces in the non-animal jigsaw for skin allergy have been approved. This will give companies the confidence to use these superior non-animal methods and avoid the estimated 200,000 animals that might otherwise be used.”