The European chemicals law, REACH (short for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), includes a commitment that animal testing will only be carried out as “a last resort,” as well as a legal obligation to regularly update testing requirements to reduce and replace the use of animals whenever possible.
In April 2012, HSI submitted a comprehensive proposal to the European Commission calling for updates to REACH testing requirements to spare millions of animals while providing the same level of regulatory scrutiny of chemicals. Now, after more than two and a half years of pressure, the EU has finally taken steps to incorporate changes proposed by HSI into its chemicals law.
Here’s what we’ve achieved so far, and what it could mean for animals between now and 2020:
|Animal Test||Change Being Made||Potential Animal Savings|
|Skin lethal dose test||Nearly full replacement||15,000 rabbits or rats1|
|Reproductive toxicity||Reduction alternative||2,400,000 rats2|
|Skin irritation||Nearly full replacement||8,250 rabbits3|
|Eye irritation||Nearly full replacement||13,500 rabbits4|
|Skin allergy||Potential for full replacement||218,750 mice5|
|2,665,500 lives saved|
And we’re not stopping there. HSI is still actively pushing the EU to adopt other life-saving changes, to replace other obsolete animal tests with state-of-the-art alternatives. Please give now to support our vital work.
1Assuming 3% of 25,000 chemicals registered by 2018 would have required an acute dermal toxicity study using 20 rabbits or rats
2Assuming 8% of 25,000 chemicals registered by 2018 would require testing in an extended 1-generation reproduction study instead of a 2-generation study, saving 1,200 rats per chemical
3Assuming 11% of 25,000 chemicals registered by 2018 would require testing for skin irritation using 3 rabbits
4Assuming 18% of 25,000 chemicals registered by 2018 would require testing for eye irritation using 3 rabbits
5Assuming 35% of 25,000 chemicals registered by 2018 would require testing for skin sensitization using 25 mice