9th May 2016
Thousands of animals saved from veterinary vaccine tests
EU test rule book updated to promote replacement of animal experiments
We’re today welcoming moves to reduce animal testing in veterinary medicine - thanks to changes to the testing requirements for some vaccines for animals.
According to a recent press release by the European Directive for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM), the ‘rulebook’ in veterinary medicine safety – the European Pharmacopeia – has been updated to include opportunities to replace animals in tests for up to 40 vaccines. The changes are expected to come into force on 1st January 2017.
Currently most veterinary vaccines are required to be regularly re-tested each time they are produced. Some of these tests are animal tests and high numbers of animals can be used. Species of animal different from those the vaccine is aimed at are often used, for example, mice are mainly used to test tetanus vaccines that are used to treat a range of different animal species.
According to a 2012 report by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, a staggering 45,776 animals were used in cruel vaccine batch tests in the UK over a six-year period.
The new changes are a step towards reducing and removing the use of animals in veterinary testing, and could save thousands of animals . According the 2012 report, over 1,000 animals are used per year in the UK for just one of the types of tests now deleted in the new changes.
- Removal of the ‘antibody induction test’ for 40 inactivated veterinary vaccines
- Permitting removal of a second ‘inactivation test’ for 40 inactivated veterinary vaccines
- Removing the need for testing for ‘extraneous agents’ for eight inactivated veterinary vaccines
- Recommending the use of the ‘batch consistency approach’ which does not use animals for three inactivated veterinary vaccines.