PETA Statement: European Chemicals Agency Report
Following the release of a report today by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), please find below a statement from Gilly Stoddart, Science Advisor for the PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd.:
"The European chemicals legislation, meant to ensure that chemicals are tested on animals only as a last resort, has failed miserably to protect thousands of them from suffering and death.
According to a report released today by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the chemicals legislation known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation) failed to stop:
· approximately 2300 animals from having chemicals applied to their sensitive eyes or skin in new experiments since 2009, despite the fact that nonanimal methods are available, and
· another 167 experiments on animals that were completed without prior approval from ECHA and with no justification, meaning that potentially thousands of animals could have been spared.
REACH is the largest animal testing programme in the world, with upwards of 50 million animals estimated to suffer and die in experiments. But the legislation is clear: Testing on animals must be avoided whenever possible and only carried out when all other relevant and available data is exhausted.
That is not happening. The PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., is greatly disappointed that ECHA continues to fail to minimise animal use.
While we commend the efforts of many companies to reduce animal testing, it is scandalous that ECHA has not compelled all companies to avoid animal tests wherever possible, and some companies continue to test on animals when it can be avoided. It is unconscionable that animals are dying as a result of bureaucratic indifference, and the PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., calls upon ECHA and the European Commission to take immediate and decisive action to reduce the disastrous toll this programme is taking on animals.
The European Ombudsman is currently considering a complaint submitted by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals UK in July 2012, alleging that ECHA is failing to ensure that animal testing is conducted only as a "last resort", as stated in the REACH regulation. This complaint is partially supported with evidence from the 2011 report, "The Use of Alternatives to Testing on Animals for the REACH Regulation.""
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