‘Meagre’ drop in EU animal testing sparks outrage – as 10.5 million animals are still subjected to cruelty

Read Time:   |  31st July 2022

While the European Parliament agrees that the need to transition away from animal testing is urgent, shocking figures that have been released underline that progress isn't being made quickly enough

The number of animal tests carried out in labs across the EU fell by just one percent from 2018-2019, it has been revealed.

Recent European Commission figures show a harrowing 10.5 million animals were subjected to cruel experiments in 2019, compared to 10.6 million the year before.

‘No excuse’ for animal testing

Nonprofit Cruelty Free Europe branded the small decrease as “meagre” – and called for an urgent plan to be implemented. It says that while it welcomes a fall in the number of these tests, there is “no excuse for any of them” to still be taking place.

Out of the 10.5 million uses, 41 percent were considered by the researchers to have caused moderate (3,404,878) or severe (959,639) suffering to the animals involved.

2019 also saw a shocking 19 percent increase in Lethal Dose 50 tests on mice. Cruelty Free Europe says the overwhelming majority of these tests kill half of the animals involved. This is “in spite of the availability of methods that reduce the suffering of animals used”.

Animal testing continues, despite many viable alternatives now being available

Animal testing continues, despite many viable alternatives now being available

Animal tests in EU

Last year, the European Parliament voted in support of a plan to “accelerate” the transition of using of animals in research and testing to human-relevant science across the EU.

However, Cruelty Free Europe’s Kerry Postlewhite, said the numbers show that “far more needs to be done”.

She added: “Despite the great progress made in the development of non-animal testing methods, and the clear desire of both the European Parliament and citizens of EU member states, these figures underline the urgent need for change – and the importance of our European Citizens’ Initiative to end animal testing in Europe”.

Want to know more about whether or not your favourite products have been tested on animals? Get the lowdown on cruelty-free beauty products in the UK

Feature image credit: Sidsnapper/Getty images

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