per esperimenti senza animali
FAQ About it


1. Facts on animal testing in the EU
In 2018, the most recent year for which the EU has published statistics, over 10.5 million animals were used for testing and research in the EU. Millions more animals are also killed for tissue sampling or because they become surplus to requirements.
Mice, rats and fish are most used in experiments, but also significant numbers of dogs, cats and monkeys.
2. What is most often tested on animals and what tests are they part of?
Animals are used for many purposes: testing drugs, chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, paints, household products, food additives, cosmetics ingredients or Botox; research of therapeutic procedures and operations; production of various substances (e.g. in immunology) and in so-called basic research. There are many different types of test.
For example, the classic Draize test is still being performed despite a non-animal alternative having been available for many years. During the test, immobilised rabbits have the test substance injected into their eye, which is observed for damage. In a skin irritation test, guinea pigs or rabbits are shaved, with their top layer of skin also removed, and the substance applied to see if it damages the skin in any way. Animals are also forced to inhale substances, or have them injected into their stomachs. Botox is tested by spraying it into the mice's abdomen, which causes them to slowly die of suffocation over several days. If the animals do not die during the experiment, they are killed or left for further experiments.
3. Is there a ban on animal testing cosmetics in the EU? What is the real situation?
Testing, importing and selling cosmetics tested on animals, as well as individual ingredients, has been banned since 2013. Despite the ban, testing is still taking place. The European Chemical Agency and the European Commission claim that the ban only applies to consumer safety tests.
As a result, the testing of ingredients under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation) continues. These should be cases where there is a risk that workers involved in the production process will be exposed to these ingredients.
4. Won't the end of animal experimentation jeopardise medical research and drug testing?
Animal testing is extremely unreliable. We already have many animal-free methods that often yield more accurate and faster results. In many cases they are also cheaper.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, up to 95% of drugs that are successful in animal trials subsequently fail in human trials — either because they don't work or have side effects that haven't occurred in animals. Animal experiments reveal only about one fifth of serious side effects. Animal experiments can also endanger human health. Some experts suggest that the harm caused by animal experiments outweighs the potential benefits, and we therefore need not to invest in animal-free methods not only for ethical reasons, but also for the sake of human health.
Methods without animals yield more accurate and faster results and can be cheaper. At present, these include artificially grown skin or cornea of the eye, human cells and antibodies, computer models of individual organs, organs on a chip (3D chips that simulate the activity of organs and combine the advantages of computers and in vitro methods), research on healthy and sick volunteers, and mathematical modelling.
Many of them can also be used for disease research and drug testing. Pressure to reduce the number of experiments, combined with greater investment in the development of animal-free methods, will create other non-animal methods.
5. Would We Have a Covid-19 Vaccine Without Animal Trials?
This vaccine was tested in humans before the end of the animal trial phase, so both phases took place at the same time. This raises the question of whether animal testing of the vaccine was needed or desirable at all.
Due to the urgent need for a vaccine in a growing pandemic, Pfizer and Moderna were approved to simultaneously test their vaccines on animals while conducting Phase 1 studies in humans. Vaccines have been tested on mice and macaques.
They overlapped preclinical studies with the early phases of the trials,” said Dr. William Moss, Executive Director for the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University. “In fact one of the reasons we are even talking about vaccines now just 10 months later is that some of the phases in which vaccine development normally occurs were overlapped rather than done sequentially.”
There are companies that are directly engaged in the development of vaccines without the use of animal experiments. For example, VAC2VAC, which is a large-scale joint research project that aims to develop and validate approaches to testing the quality of both human and veterinary vaccines using non-animal methods.
6. What is the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and what is the aim of your ECI?
The ECI is a mechanism by which European citizens can call on the European Commission to propose new legislation in a particular area. To consider an initiative, the Commission must receive the support of at least 1 million EU citizens in the form of signatures.
Unlike a petition, a Citizens' Initiative addresses the Commission directly and can therefore lead to a change in EU legislation.
This ECI calls on the Commission to protect and strengthen the ban on animal testing for cosmetics products by ensuring that only non-animal testing methods are used to evaluate the safety of cosmetics products and their ingredients for consumers, workers and the environment. It also calls on the Commission to amend EU legislation on chemicals to ensure that all chemicals are produced without adding new requirements for animal testing. Another requirement is to modernise science in the EU by making a legislative proposal setting out a roadmap for the phasing-out of all animal experiments in the EU. By supporting the transition to animal-free research and testing, this ECI has the potential to protect millions of animals from suffering and death every year and to improve the protection of human health and the environment.
7. Why should I give my data?
If at least 1 million verified votes can be collected across the EU, the European institutions have a duty to give this initiative serious consideration. Your vote has much more weight than a normal petition!
In some countries you may need to enter your ID card or passport number, to verify your vote. However, the website is properly secured and registered under GDPR and we do not store any data or use it in any way other than to verify your signature.
8. What criteria do I have to meet in order to be eligible to sign an ECI?
To sign a European Citizens' Initiative, you must be old enough to vote in elections to the European Parliament.
If you are not eligible to sign the ECI, you can still help by sharing information about it with family and friends and on social media.
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