European Chemicals Agency taken to task over unnecessary request for animal testing
Posted on 03/05/2013
Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the recent decision made by the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to annul an animal study and stated that the Agency had breached the REACH Regulation requiring testing on vertebrate animals only to be undertaken as a last resort, and the requirement to ensure that the minimum number of animals would be used if testing on vertebrate animals is required. This decision comes as a result of actions undertaken by interested stakeholders during the statutory REACH consultation period to prove the test was unnecessary.
The decision relates to a chemical used in car air conditioning systems (2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene) and ECHA had requested a 90 day repeated dose toxicity study on rabbits be undertaken but the request failed to: identify properly what the aim of the experiment was; take account of the unprecedented nature of the experiment or whether rabbits were the appropriate species; consider whether the results would in fact be useful in the first place; or consider whether the experiment would be permitted in the EU or even whether anyone could carry it out.
This sends a clear message that animal testing is not the norm and in this case industry has acted responsibly. The European Chemical Agency must take this decision into account and ensure they follow the REACH legislation requirements to the letter.