26th April 2019
MPs write open letter calling for no duplicate animal tests for chemicals as a result of Brexit
MPs join us in urging government to commit to no repeat UK chemical testing
Twelve cross-party MPs have signed an open letter to Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), urging the government to rule out the risk of repeat chemical tests on animals as result of the UK leaving the European Union.
The letter, backed by us, asks for assurance from DEFRA that UK chemicals companies will not be forced to repeat tests already carried out on animals under EU chemicals rules.
The twelve MPs include Kerry McCarthy (Labour, Bristol East), Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) and Sir David Amess (Conservative, Southend West).
Whilst the MPs welcome the minister’s recent comments that the Health and Safety Executive will be encouraged to recognise the validity of animal tests that have already taken place, they believe that this does not go far enough and say in the letter: “… we share the widely held concerns that this position will be undermined by confidentiality conditions relating to data in existing contracts, resulting in the need for testing to be replicated.”
Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, said: “As a nation we pride ourselves on our strong animal welfare record, but we should not be complacent and allow Brexit to lead to unnecessary suffering for animals in laboratories. That’s why we are calling on Thérèse Coffey to address these concerns before it is too late.”
Kerry Postlewhite, Director of Public Affairs for Cruelty Free International, said: “We thank Kerry McCarthy and all the other MPs for reinforcing our concerns about the very real risk of duplicate chemical tests on animals. Industry, politicians and the public have all made it clear that this should not be allowed to happen, but so far, the government’s response has been very disappointing. We hope this time that change and a commitment will be forthcoming.”
The full letter:
Dear Dr Coffey,
On behalf of Cruelty Free International we are writing to seek a commitment that there will be no duplication of animal testing for chemical registrations as result of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
As you know, despite repeated requests, the Government has been unable to provide the clear assurance that there will be no duplication of animal testing either as a result of a no-deal exit or when a new UK REACH comes into effect.
We are aware of, and welcome, your commitment to the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee earlier this year that the HSE will be encouraged to recognise the validity of animal testing already undertaken to “avoid the need for further testing”.
However, we share the widely held concerns that this position will be undermined by confidentiality conditions relating to data in existing contracts, resulting in the need for testing to be replicated.
Given the urgency of this situation, we look forward to your swift response.
With kind regards,
Kerry McCarthy MP, Alex Cunningham MP, Alex Sobel MP, Alistair Carmichael MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Daniel Zeichner MP, Sir David Amess MP, Deidre Brock MP, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Jo Swinson MP, John McNally MP, Nic Dakin MP