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June 21, 2011

End Animal Testing 2010 Campaign Victories and Milestones

Humane Society International

  • Helpless. Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Nature 464 © 2010

Humane Society International’s End Animal Testing Campaign accomplished much for animals in 2010:

December 2010: A host of British celebrities, including Joanna Lumley and Amanda Holden, joined HSI UK in urging consumers to have a cruelty-free Christmas by avoiding gifts that have caused animal suffering such as animal-tested cosmetics.

December 2010: HSI’s Director of Research & Toxicology briefed government science leaders from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the progress of the AXLR8 project and European alternative method development activities in general.

November 2010: Thanks in large part to HSI’s expert intervention via our membership of the International Council for Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO), OECD member countries reached agreement on a new test guideline that can reduce the number of animals killed in reproductive toxicity testing by at least 40 percent—meaning 1,200 fewer animals per test, and potentially millions saved over the coming years.

November 2010: HSI got lippy about animal-tested cosmetics with the launch of our CrueltyFree2013 campaign. EU politicians looked set to break their pledge to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in 2013, so HSI launched an online petition to demonstrate the strength of public support for Europe becoming a cruelty-free zone.

November 2010: The HSI-inspired AXLR8 project released its first annual report, "Alternative Testing Strategies: Progress Report 2010" [PDF], a 300-page resource guide providing updates on the activities and achievements of leading European and international research projects aimed at replacing, reducing and refining animal use in testing and research, together with recommendations for near-term research priorities to advance the science of safety testing.

October 2010: HSI traveled to São Paulo, Brazil to participate in a high-level conference on alternative methods for the safety assessment of chemicals. On the basis of this meeting, HSI extended our cosmetics campaign to Brazil (the world’s fifth largest market for cosmetics), and through our Latin America affiliate we are working to modernize Brazil’s cosmetic testing guidelines and bring them into line with European standards—including a government-enforced ban on animal testing.

September 2010: Following an intensive, multi-year campaign by HSI and other animal groups to revise the 25-year-old EU Directive 86/609 that regulates more than 12 million animal experiments annually, a new and updated law was adopted. The new Directive was a boost for animal welfare and the development of humane alternatives, introducing key improvements that will significantly strengthen animal protection in most EU countries.

September 2010: The European Parliament voted by overwhelming majority in favour of amendments brought forward by HSI to spare thousands of animals from cruel and redundant toxicity tests under a proposed new EU Biocidal Products Regulation. (Biocides are non-food pesticides such as germ-killing soaps and wildlife poisons, and currently as many as 6,000 animals are killed in the safety testing of just one of these products.)

July 2010: After years of pressure from HSI and other animal protection groups, a non-animal testing guideline for skin irritation was finally accepted by government authorities worldwide. In all but a very few circumstances, this non-animal method can fully replace the 1940s-era Draize rabbit skin test, which has traditionally been conducted to assess skin irritation by applying chemicals to shaved skin on the backs of rabbits.

July 2010: Months of intense scientific lobbying by HSI and Humane Society Legislative Fund drove U.S. Members of Congress to incorporate numerous animal welfare provisions into a federal bill aimed at reforming U.S. chemicals legislation.

June 2010: The European Parliament Environment Committee adopted more than 90 amendments brought forward by HSI and its partners to spare thousands of animals from cruel and redundant toxicity tests under a proposed new EU Biocidal Products Regulation.

May 2010: The HSI-conceived AXLR8 project held its first annual scientific workshop in Potsdam, Germany, bringing together the world’s leading scientists working to develop alternatives to animal testing to discuss their achievements, challenges, research gaps and priorities for further work.

April 2010: A cross-sector scientific review of drivers for and alternatives to lethal “acute toxicity” animal testing co-authored by HSI and representatives of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing was published in the journal Toxicological Sciences.

April 2010: HSI was hand-picked to participate in closed hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives to solicit stakeholder advice and recommendations concerning the reform of U.S. chemicals legislation.

April 2010: HSI participated in the kick-off meeting of the newly formed Transatlantic Animal Welfare Council, which was set up to respond to developments in animal welfare-related transatlantic issues and to foster further bonds of cooperation between European and U.S.-based animal protection organizations.

March 2010: HSI represented the umbrella association ICAPO (International Council on Animal Protection at the OECD) in high-level intergovernmental discussions in Paris regarding animal welfare-oriented activities of the 31-member-country Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its subsidiary bodies.

February 2010: HSI’s Director of Research & Toxicology was appointed to the organizing committee for an International Life Sciences Institute-Europe scientific workshop on waiving animal tests for chemicals with low human exposure.

January 2010: The HSI-conceived AXLR8 project was launched as part of growing international efforts to revolutionize chemical and drug safety testing with sophisticated “21st century” cell- and computer-based methods.

January 2010: HSI met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discuss opportunities to substantially reduce animal use under the Agency’s pesticide, chemicals and “endocrine disruptor screening program.”

Help HSI create a future without animal testing—donate and take action now.