Avoidance of animal experiments in the new EU chemicals regulation - opportunities and problems from the point of view of animal welfare

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Ursula G. Sauer

Abstract

On 29 October 2003, the European Commission forwarded the "Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency and amending Directive 1999/45/EC and Regulation (EC) on Persistent Organic Pollutants" to the European Parliament and the Council for adoption under the so-called co-decision procedure. From the point of view of animal welfare it is to be welcomed that it is envisaged better to protect humans and the environment from unknown risks through chemical substances. However, in order to ensure that this goal can be met, extensive amendments to the proposed draft are requested: Instead of continuing to perform animal tests, relevant and reliable non-animal testing strategies should be implemented. Before considering testing, all existing data must be made available, shared and evaluated. This request should be enforced in the new Regulation through an adequate mandatory system. Data requirements must be tailored to the specific substance, to ensure that only such information is collected that is necessary for its safe handling by workers and consumers. Missing data should be determined with non-animal test methods. Finally, the European Union and its Member States are called to provide adequate funding for alternative method research without delay and to call for tenders on those information-gaps that currently prevent the implementation of an entirely non-animal testing strategy, so that such new methods will be available in time for application under the REACH system.

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How to Cite
Sauer, U. G. (2004) “Avoidance of animal experiments in the new EU chemicals regulation - opportunities and problems from the point of view of animal welfare”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 21(1), pp. 9-14. Available at: https://www.altex.org/index.php/altex/article/view/982 (Accessed: 24January2021).
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