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BUAV expresses concern over failure to reject proposals to test on animals

01/03/2012

The BUAV, as a member organisation of the ECEAE, has today expressed concern that results published this week by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in its Evaluation report fail to report that in 2011 the agency rejected any proposal to test on animals.

Under REACH legislation (in order to reduce animal testing), companies must submit their animal testing proposals which are then made available for public comments, evaluated by the Agency and finally agreed by its Member State Committee.

Out of 22 final decisions made in 2011, 18 were agreed without modification, 4 were accepted with modifications. None were rejected.

A total of 80 proposals were processed last year, out of which a large proportion (58) were withdrawn by the company before a final decision was made. Although some of these were because the company realised they did not need to do the test, others were because they had already started the animal test – contrary to REACH rules. Although the ECEAE welcomes a move by ECHA to ask companies in this situation to justify their actions, we believe that further action is needed. According to last year’s report some 107 animal tests each involving hundreds of animals were done without a testing proposal. 

A total of 715 testing proposals are to be processed following the first registration deadline of December  2010. The ECEAE estimated last year that if all were agreed this would result in over 1 million animals being used in reproductive , developmental and repeated dose toxicity tests.

These latest figures, the first of any significance published by the ECHA, point to a worrying trend to simply rubber stamp animal testing proposals. The ECEAE is heavily involved in commenting on testing proposals and will be following up its concerns with the Agency.

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