Commission fails to update animal regulation after 16 years
European Ombudsman investigates our complaint over delays in adopting alternatives to animal tests
The European Ombudsman is looking in to our complaint about the length of time it takes for the European Commission to adopt non-animal tests for assessing the safety of chemicals.
We believe that the Commission takes too long to add alternatives to animal tests or tests that involve fewer animals and inflict less suffering, to its list of tests used to judge whether a chemical is safe.
The long delays mean that animals are being used unnecessarily to find information required by EU law.
Dr Jarrod Bailey, Senior Research Scientist at Cruelty Free International, said: “Before they can be used, alternative methods to animal testing are thoroughly assessed, validated, and finally approved for use, so that scientists and regulators can be confident that they work. On average there are currently 4-year delays between validation and it being included in EU regulation, which is unacceptable.”
Our complaint includes several examples of very long delays. One alternative test was approved over 16 years ago but still isn’t included in EU regulation. Other tests that take years to be adopted include new and revised ways of replacing rabbits used in eye irritation tests, and new tests to replace guinea pigs and mice for skin allergy experiments.
The Ombudsman is now asking the Commission to explain why it is failing to update the regulation more quickly. A reply is expected before the end of July.