THIS IS NOT WHAT PROGRESS LOOKS LIKE
Animal experiments cause enormous suffering to the millions of animals used in laboratories across Europe every year, and at the current rate of decline, it will be almost 100 years before animal testing ends. Animal testing is often used out of habit and because of a lack of enforcement of other methods by the authorities. Many
animal experiments continue despite the availability of non-animal alternatives.
Science doesn't need animal testing
Animals are different from us. Therefore, the results of animal experiments are not easily applied to humans. Non-animal methods often give faster and more accurate results and can be cheaper than animal experiments. Many non-animal alternatives already exist, with more under development being developed.
This is an opportunity for change
Organizations from all over Europe have joined forces to fight for the modernization of science and to put an end to animal suffering. We have a unique opportunity to call on the EU to bring about real change – but we cannot do it without you.
We are now redirecting you to the secure European Citizens' Initiative website. To verify your vote, some countries require you to enter your ID or passport number. However, the website and data storage is secured and registered under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to keep all of your information safe. The data is only used directly in the EU verification process according to current EU laws. If one million verified votes are collected across the EU, European institutions must give serious consideration to this initiative. This is your real chance to stop animal testing now.
The use of animals for experiments has many purposes – to test drugs, chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, paints, household products, food additives, and cosmetics ingredients such as Botox; to research treatments and surgeries; to produce various substances (e.g. in immunology) and in basic research. Substances are often applied to their the animals’ eyes and skin, injected, force-fed, or forcefully inhaled. Animals are artificially infected during the experiment to show symptoms of diseases, including those that only occur in humans (e.g. Parkinson's disease or schizophrenia).
In 2018, the most recent year from which we have statistics, around 10.6 million animals were used for testing and research in the EU. In addition, millions of animals are killed every year for reasons including the use of their tissue or because they are no longer needed by the laboratory. On average, the number of animal experiments falls by as little as 2% each year. For experimental purposes, mice, rats, and fish are most commonly used, but smaller numbers of dogs, cats, and monkeys are also used.
According to EU statistics, there were over 800,000 tests in 2018 for which there are already approved alternative methods.
Up to 95% of drugs that successfully pass animal trials fail when tested on humans, where they do not work as intended or are sometimes even found to be dangerous. In addition, drugs that appear promising in human trials might fail in animal testing and therefore will not be considered for human use.
e.g. artificially grown skin or corneas, human cells, and antibodies, computer models of individual organs, organs on a chip (3D chips that simulate organ function and combine the advantages of computers and in vitro methods), research on healthy and sick volunteers, mathematical modeling, etc. Many of these can also be used for disease research and drug testing.
This European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is organized by member organisations: Cruelty Free Europe, European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, Eurogroup for Animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Humane Society International (HSI). In the Czech Republic, the initiative is promoted by Svoboda zvířat, in association with Cruelty Free Europe, and European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.
Every EU citizen over the age of 18 can sign this initiative. Depending on your country's requirements, you may need to provide proof of your identity. After clicking the button below, you will be redirected to a secure and official site.
With the EU ban on testing cosmetics on animals came the promise of a Europe in which animals would no longer suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics. That promise has been broken. Authorities still demand animal tests on ingredients used in cosmetics, which goes against the expectations and wishes of the public and the intention of legislators.
Yet, never have we had such powerful non-animal methods for ensuring safety levels or such a golden opportunity to revolutionise human and environmental protection. The European Commission must uphold and strengthen the ban and transition to animal-free testing.
We call on the European Commission to do the following:
1. Protect and strengthen the ban on testing cosmetics on animals.
Change laws to ensure that all cosmetics ingredients are safe for consumers, workers and the environment without being tested on animals
2. Transform EU chemicals regulations.
Ensure that human health and the environment are protected by managing the production of chemicals without introducing the need for new animal tests
3. Modernise science in the EU.
Commit to the creation of a roadmap to phase-out all animal testing in the EU before the end of the current legislative term.
The World-Leading EU Cosmetics Animal Testing and Marketing Bans
We call on the European Commission to protect and strengthen the bans on testing cosmetics on animals.
The wishes of citizens and legislators are clear: animals must not suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics. We maintain that new safety assessments for cosmetics ingredients imported into, manufactured in, or sold within the EU may only rely on non-animal data. As such, EU test requirements – including those set out in REACH – must not undermine these bans. Instead, a substance-specific approach should be applied to ensure consumers, workers and the environment are protected without further tests on animals. It is essential that the European Commission ensure proper implementation of the bans on testing cosmetics on animals, and on marketing animal-tested products, as originally intended, and instigate legislative change to achieve this goal for both human health and environmental toxicity targets across all relevant sectors.
To achieve the objective of protecting and strengthening the bans on testing cosmetics on animals, we urge the European Commission to ensure that the following mandates are met:
• Immediately enforce the existing EU bans on animal testing for cosmetics, and the marketing of ingredients tested on animals, as intended by legislators to ensure that only non-animal methods are used for the safety assessment of cosmetics ingredients.
• Clarify that the requirement to rely on non-animal data for the safety assessment of cosmetics ingredients must be applied and animal data rejected, regardless of the location and purpose of animal tests conducted after the cut-off periods described in Article 18(2) of the EU Cosmetics Regulation.
• Initiate legislation to strengthen and broaden the cosmetics testing bans to ensure that consumers, workers and the environment are protected without new tests on animals.
• Devise a robust testing strategy for cosmetics ingredients only using available non-animal testing methods so that the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability reflects the overwhelming support for strengthening – rather than weakening – the protection of animals in Europe.
Transforming Chemicals Regulations
We call on the European Commission to transform EU chemicals regulation.
The European Green Deal introduces a worthy commitment to a toxic-free environment whilst also presenting a golden opportunity for modern and sustainable regulation of chemicals. With the right investment and careful design, the EU could use non-animal approaches to provide the best protection of human health and the environment without wasting resources on an over-burdened and unreliable system dependent on the suffering and death of animals.
To achieve the objective of ensuring sustainable chemicals regulation without recourse to additional animal testing requirements, we urge the Commission to ensure that, at a minimum, the following mandates are met:
• Put in place concrete steps – with dedicated funding, ambitious timelines and cross-sectoral support – to develop, validate and implement human-relevant, non-animal approaches to identifying toxic chemicals.
• Ensure that the rapid uptake of non-animal New Approach Methodologies is aligned between the European agencies with administrative responsibility for chemicals, biocides, plant protection products, pharmaceuticals and other products.
• Ensure that test requirement deadlines are not applied at the expense of scientific rigour or human and environmental safety by allowing a default fallback to reliance on unreliable tests on animals.
Modernising Science in the EU
We call on the European Commission to modernise science in the EU.
The EU is at a crossroads. Decision-makers can choose either to continue relying on archaic animal tests or to lead the world by fostering a new era of animal-free science. Seventy-two per cent of adults in EU member states agree that the time is right for the EU to plot a roadmap – containing concrete, measurable targets with associated timelines – towards its final goal of ending animal tests.
To achieve the objective of working towards a roadmap for the phase-out of all animal testing in the EU, we urge the Commission to ensure that, at a minimum, the following mandates are met:
• Openly endorse the desirability of phasing out the use of animals in science and state the belief that this is achievable. To illustrate this commitment, prioritise a transition to non-animal approaches as an integral part of all EU research, innovation and education initiatives, while also acknowledging that Directive 2010/63/EU does not in and of itself represent a roadmap towards full replacement.
• Prioritise the development and validation of non-animal methods in the EU budget and new overarching policies, such as the European Green Deal, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and post-COVID recovery plans, and redirect funding away from animal studies to alternatives.
• Coordinate actions across the directorates-general and agencies responsible for aspects of research, regulatory testing, education and funding with the involvement of all member states to achieve a strategic focus on the final goal of fully replacing the use of animals in scientific procedures.
• Include in the legislative proposal ambitious and achievable science-based targets with regard to a reduction in numbers of animals used, investments in advanced non-animal models and infrastructures, education and training synergy, and regulatory acceptance of non-animal methods.