Each year millions of animals are used and sacrificed for experimental purposes in the name of science and investigation. This broad definition embraces industries like the pharmacological, medical, chemical, armament, food, biogenetic, household products, cosmetic, veterinary, academic, etc.
The term “experiment” means all kinds of tests on an animal that can cause pain, suffering, anguish.... the list of experiments to which animals have been and are being subjected is endless and the cruelty of many of them difficult to imagine.
In Europe the annual figure for animals used in experiments surpasses 11,000,000 and in the U.S.A., according to various estimates, the figure could be over 100 million.
Primates, dogs, cats, horses, rats, goats, birds and fish are a small example of the species used in the field of experimentation. Some of these procedures were formalized years ago at official level in many countries, becoming legal tests justifying preliminary reports with a view to obtaining authorization to commercialize new ingredients and products. The number of new products constantly being launched on the market (household cleaning, agriculture, cosmetics, chemist, etc.) and the typology of these very tests means that, every year millions of animals are sacrificed, and systematically suffer the same cruel and prolonged experimental processes. Some of these procedures were formalized years ago at official level in many countries, becoming legal tests justifying preliminary reports with a view to obtaining authorization to commercialize new ingredients and products.
The endless amount of new products constantly being launched on the market (for cleaning, agriculture, cosmetics, chemists, etc.) and the typology of these very tests means that, every year millions of animals are sacrificed, and systematically and repeatedly suffer the same cruel procedures during prolonged experimental processes.
MOST FREQUENT TESTS
LETHAL DOSAGE (Ld50) The test for acute toxicity consists in calculating what the lethal dosage is of a product or chemical substance. To do it a group of animals is chosen that is forced to consume via probe or other intravenous or subcutaneous systems, a determined amount of said product. The operation is repeated until 50% of the animals die. During the process, which can last for a few days, and depending on the substance given, the animals can suffer from ulcers, convulsions, lung, renal, hepatic, haemorrhage injuries, etc. until they die. The animals used are usually, rats, cats, dogs, rabbits...
DRAIZE TEST This test is usually done on groups of albino rabbits, which immobilised inside boxes, are treated with the concentrated chemical product that is being tested. The test can last between one and various weeks. The animals try to escape given the terrible discomfort that the process causes them. The reaction to the product, besides irritation, produces inflammation, ulcers, blindness.
SKIN IRRITATION TEST The animals chosen are shaved down to the skin and they are treated with the substance to observe the irritation and reactions to the skin: inflammation, ulcers, etc.
ETHICAL REASONS AND SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIONS COINCIDE IN REJECTING EXPERIMENTING WITH ANIMALS.
Besides criticism and opposition raised due to ethical reasons, numerous scientific objections exist because of low accuracy, little effect and reliability offered by this type of test. Among many other reasons given the physical and biochemical differences between the species. Although each of these tests shows the reaction of the animal object of the experiment, they do not forecast the subsequent reactions and after-effects on the different species, including humans, the final destiny of many of the products commercialized. A certain industry revolves around experimenting with animals which, to benefit its own economic interests, backs continuing with it by curbing development and implementation of other alternative techniques, which besides being bloodless, are quicker, more reliable and economical.
In spite of the thousands of cosmetic products already existing on the market, still today, thousands of animals are intoxicated, blinded or ulcerated in testing cosmetic products such as: eye shadows, lipsticks, moisturisers, nail polishes, sun products, soaps, etc.
The majority of European citizens consider it totally unjustified to use and cause suffering to animals, just to produce and commercialize these products. Thanks to a huge international campaign co-ordinated by the European Coalition to put an end to experimenting with animals, COAEA, of which ADDA is a member, and has very actively participated in, what was achieved was that the European Directive ruled that the manufacture and sale of cosmetic products experimented on animals is prohibited.
However, due to pressure by industry lobbies, this Directive has been postponed several times since the year 2000 and 2002, date when it was forecast, until the last moratorium that delays its coming into force until the year 2013.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Meanwhile and until the final prohibition is not in force, and due to the awareness and preference of consumers, for some years now, there exists an increasing number of commercial firms that have chosen to produce and sell products not tested on animals.
For more information: http://www.eceae.org/espanol/