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October 4, 2011

HSI Europe Applauds EU Parliament Committee for Voting to Spare Thousands of Animals from Biocide Chemical Tests

Humane Society International/Europe

BRUSSELS, Belgium—Humane Society International/Europe praises Members of the European Parliament Environment Committee for voting to spare thousands of animals from archaic tests for biocidal chemicals such as anti-bacterial cleaners and insect repellent [1]. As many as 6,000 animals—including dogs, rabbits and rodents—can be used to test a single biocidal active substance. During these tests the animals can experience nausea, convulsions and death—all without benefit of pain relief.

Troy Seidle, director of research & toxicology for Humane Society International/Europe, said:

“Humane Society International is delighted that the European Parliament’s Environment Committee has voted to bring biocides safety testing out of the Dark Ages and to spare hundreds of thousands of animals from unimaginable pain and distress. Over-dosing animals with chemicals not only causes incredible suffering, but is also an astoundingly poor method of predicting human safety or risk. Today’s outcome has been a vote in favour of modern science and brings us one step closer to safety without suffering.”

In a Second Reading vote of the proposed new EU Biocidal Products Regulation [2], the Environment Committee supported a substantial number of amendments to dramatically reduce animal testing. The amendments, brought forward by HSI Europe and its allies, will spare the lives of many thousands of animals used in toxicity testing while maintaining a high level of human health and environmental protection.

The EU Biocidal Products Directive currently requires every biocidal active substance to undergo dozens of separate animal tests. In 2009 the European Commission published a proposal to revise the Directive, but little improvement ensued. Humane Society International/Europe has lobbied MEPs to support substantial amendments, many of which were voted through today.

The dossier now moves forward for final adoption by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.


Notes to Editor:

 1. A biocidal product is a non-food pesticide.
 2. Vote in the European Parliament Environment Committee took place on 4 October 12 – 12.00 CEST in Brussels.

Humane Society International/Europe and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — on the Web at hsieurope.org.