National Anti-vivisection Society

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National Antivisection Society

Government announces an end to animal testing of household products

Posted: 18 July 2011. Updated: 17 September 2012

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The National Anti-Vivisection Society is encouraged by the Home Office’s announcement today, declaring the Government’s commitment to ending the testing of household products on animals.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of the NAVS said: “This announcement follows the huge public support we have found for our campaign to end these tests.

“We now urge the Home Office to implement their proposed consultation as soon as possible and not kick this important animal welfare issue into the long grass. The NAVS will ensure that it is part of the process to ensure the best possible outcome, and encourage Government to move the initiative on as quickly as possible.”

Household product testing statistics

Numbers of animals used in testing household products has been relatively low in recent years, thanks to the campaigns of organisations such as the NAVS.

  • In 2010, 24 procedures were carried out on 24 rats
  • In 2009, no animals were used in testing household products
  • In 2008, 132 procedures were carried out on 132 mice
  • In 2007, 1 procedure was carried out on 1 rabbit
  • In 2006, no animals were used in testing household products

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Pushing for development of alternatives to animal use

The Home Office has also announced today that the Coalition Government will work towards the reduction of the use of animals in scientific research, which will be delivered through a science-led programme by the National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research.

However, disappointingly, the proposed programme intends to focus on reducing numbers of animals, rather than development and implementation of advanced scientific methods to replace animals. Advanced techniques are the cutting edge of modern science – essential not only to staying ahead of international technologies, but good for human medicine and saving animals. NAVS would like to see more commitment from the government on replacement of animal use.

Commenting on these proposals Jan said: “Last week the Home Office released its 2010 animal testing statistics, which made depressing reading by showing an increase in the number of animals used in procedures by over 100,000 compared to the previous year, as had actual procedures.

“This rise was completely unacceptable and shamed the UK. This latest announcement is encouraging and we shall continue to meet with the Home Office to ensure that they deliver on this commitment, and press for a phase out of animals in scientific research altogether.”

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The NAVS’ ten steps for scientific research

The NAVS, together with all the main animal protection and non-animal research bodies in the UK, is pressing the Coalition Government to use the new EU Directive on animal experiments, to make ten steps to advance scientific research, but without animal suffering:

  • Ban household product testing
  • No downgrading of existing UK animal protection measures
  • Commit to replacing experiments on monkeys in UK laboratories
  • End the capture of monkeys from the wild, by laboratory dealers
  • Set limits on the pain laboratory animals are allowed to suffer
  • Increase transparency and public accountability on animal experiments – before animals are used
  • Increase compulsory data sharing to prevent unnecessary experiments
  • Establish a national co-ordinating body for the development and validation of replacements – non-animal methods
  • Ensure the effective implementation of non-animal methods – if there is an alternative it must be used
  • The UK to arrange regular reviews to identify and agree replacement methods for specific animal experiments or uses of animals – with binding targets for replacement

To view the Home Office announcement go to:
http://www.dodsmonitoring.com/downloads/WMS/WMS_2011/July_18_2011/WMS_22_HO_AnimalsTesting.pdf

© National Anti-Vivisection Society

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