Canada, which includes mice, rats and fish, reported the use of more than 3.5 million animals in experiments in 2015, including about 20,000 dogs, cats and primates. Other animals were used for testing in facilities not certified by the Canadian Council on Animal Care.5 In the European Union, which also counts the number of mice, rats and fish used, 11.5 million animals were used in 2011.6 When they decide to develop or use new ingredients in their cosmetic products, Some companies conduct animal testing to assess the safety of these new ingredients. This practice is both cruel and unnecessary, as companies can already make innovative products with thousands of ingredients that are safe to use and do not require additional testing. In addition, modern testing methods (such as tests based on human cells and sophisticated computer models) have replaced obsolete animal experiments with new approaches that are often faster, cheaper and more reliable. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is a federal law that addresses the standard of care of animals in research institutions. This law excludes about 95% of animals tested – such as rats, mice, birds, fish and reptiles – and offers minimal protection for the rest. Laboratories are not required to declare animals not protected by the AWA. The majority of laboratory animals are reserved, which means they are bred specifically for use in experiments. People who raise and sell specially bred animals are called Class A traders and are licensed and inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In some cases, animals die as a direct result of the experiment. For example, the LD50 (50% lethal dose) test, typically performed on mice, rats, pigeons, quail and fish, involves determining the dose of a substance (e.g., a pesticide) that kills (or would result in death) 50% of the animals tested. 92% of drugs tested on animals do not meet the standards of human use, and this rate is increasing and not improving. We educate consumers about animals used in cruel and unnecessary cosmetic testing and how to buy cruelty-free cosmetics and personal care products. We also believe that the use of scientifically valid alternative methods to entire animal testing should be considered before using animals. In 1997, the FDA merged with thirteen other federal agencies to form the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Alternative Methods Validation (ICCVAM). ICCVAM and its support center, the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), coordinate the development, validation, acceptance, and harmonization of alternative toxicological test methods across the U.S. federal government. For more information, visit the ICCVAM and NICEATM websites. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal agency responsible for monitoring and inspecting laboratories that experiment on animals, as well as those that breed and sell animals for laboratories. Tens of millions of animals are used in laboratory experiments each year in the United States — and by most estimates, between 85 and 95 percent of these animals are not protected by law. Those who are not protected are complex beings who think and feel pain, just like those who have legal protection.
Animals in laboratories suffer enormously. In addition to the painful experiences that the vast majority of animals experience in laboratories for days, months, years or even decades, living in a laboratory is usually a miserable and terrifying experience. We have seen some important promising developments, but the millions of animals tested each year in laboratories in the United States show how much more needs to be done. The brands on the Leaping Bunny list have met the strict and internationally recognized humane standard of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). As a founding member of CCIC, we encourage buyers to purchase from Leaping Bunny-licensed cosmetics, personal care, home care and pet care companies. Check out our informative infographic with details on how labels are interpreted and make sure the products you buy haven`t been tested on animals. The objective of the IACUC is to review and approve protocols involving animals and to ensure compliance. Committees are often criticized for being too complacent with researchers, leading to lax self-regulation.
Government-mandated testing Some common animal experiments and non-animal testing methods that have been scientifically validated to replace them include: If non-animal methods are not yet available or fully validated, PETA encourages others to allocate funds to the development and validation of test methods. In addition, PETA and its international subsidiaries have committed millions of dollars to promising non-animal testing methods. For more information on how PETA helps promote, fund and validate animal-free methods, click here. Many scientists believe that in vitro tests are scientifically superior to inhumane animal testing. The same applies to radiation exposure tests and cosmetic tests. Technologies such as non-invasive imaging offer alternatives to cutting into the brains of animals. Cancer antibody tests are best done with human cells than by injecting cancer into mice. More information on animal-free methods can be found here. In the past, the Chinese government required all cosmetics to be tested on animals. Fortunately, China`s cosmetics regulations have been amended to eliminate some of these requirements.
In 2014, China allowed companies that manufacture so-called “regular” cosmetics (such as shampoo or mascara) in the country to avoid animal testing for their products, while continuing to require animal testing for imported products. In 2021, China again changed its regulations, allowing some companies to import regular cosmetics into the country without animal testing. We are pleased with the progress, but there is still much to be done, as “special use” cosmetics (such as hair dyes or sunscreens) still require animal testing and many humane methods are not yet accepted by Chinese regulators. The world is heading toward a future dominated by sophisticated methods that use human cells, tissues and organs, 3D printing, robotics, computer models and other technologies to create experiments that don`t rely on animals. There is no limit to the extent of pain and suffering that can be inflicted on animals in experiments. In some cases, animals are not given anything to relieve their pain or anxiety during or after the experiment, as this could interfere with the experiment. It is extremely rare for animals to be adopted or brought to a protected area after being explored. However, more and more states are passing laws requiring labs to offer dogs and cats to animal shelters and other rescue organizations whenever possible so they can be adopted once the experiments are over.