Help End Avoidable Chemical Tests on Animals in the EU

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Officials are failing to enforce restrictions on animal testing, meaning that thousands of animals are suffering in potentially avoidable chemical tests in the EU.

The EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation requires that chemicals be tested on animals only as a last resort. Yet the law isn't being enforced, and animals are dying as a result.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has revealed that since 2009, approximately 2,300 animals have had chemicals applied to their sensitive eyes or skin in corrosion and irritation tests, despite the availability of validated non-animal testing methods. A recent ECHA report indicated that 105 studies involving approximately 33,000 animals were conducted without the required approval, including the shameful use of approximately 780 animals because of a "misunderstanding" of the REACH requirements.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. We're calling on the UK Health and Safety Executive and equivalent agencies all over the European Union to do their jobs properly and stop animals from being used in senseless tests.

Please sign our open letter urging officials to minimise the death toll. The letter will be sent to the agencies responsible for enforcing REACH in each of the 28 EU member states.

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To: Agencies responsible for enforcing REACH

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Dear Officials,

Even though the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation mandates that chemicals be tested on animals only as a last resort, thousands of animals are being used in experiments where alternatives exist and tests are being conducted without prior approval of a testing proposal.

The European Ombudsman stated that it is the responsibility of the member states to investigate and sanction non-compliance of the last-resort principle. Please do everything in your power to end avoidable animal tests.

Specifically, we urge you to:

  • Investigate all possible breaches of the last-resort principle and publicly disclose any violations of the law, including the enforcement action taken.
  • Implement appropriate penalties to deter companies from breaching the last-resort principle.
  • Through the national REACH help desk, notify registrants of their legal obligations to minimise animal testing and the consequences of non-compliance.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

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