Bravo! A Non-Animal Testing Lab has Just Opened Up in China

Bravo! A Non-Animal Testing Lab has Just Opened Up in China

One province in China is taking steps to help animals by opening a lab that doesn’t test on them.

The regulatory organization for food, drugs, and cosmetics produced in China’s Zhejiang province, the Zhejiang Institute for Food and Drug Control (ZJIFDC), worked with international non-profit the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), to create the lab, which opened in November, 2017.

“IIVS helped train our staff and provided guidance on implementation as we developed the laboratory,” Yang Li, the vice director of ZJIFDC and head of the alternatives laboratory said in a statement.  “Their assistance, combined with our dedication to the development of a quality laboratory, has led to a successful opening.”

For a country that tested on over 16 million animals per year in 2006, this is a major step in the right direction.

China tiptoes toward more animal testing regulations

The new lab is part of a turn toward more humane practices in general. Over 30 countries around the world have banned testing cosmetics on animals, but China actually required animal testing for all cosmetics until 2014. Even today, many imported cosmetic products have to be tested in China. International pressure also plays a role in China’s efforts to reduce its reliance on animal testing. In 2016, China drafted its first national standards for animal testing, though it has yet to go into effect.

Bunny being tested in a laboratory.

Picture by the USDA via Wikimedia Commons, CC0.

China is working diligently to build capacity and infrastructure in alternative methods to support future changes in regulations,” the president of IIVS, Erin Hill, said in a statement. “The opening of the Zhejiang alternatives laboratory is a significant step toward this goal and we are honored to have been a part of its success.”

The lab can perform a variety of non-animal tests, such as skin and eye irritation, but some of the tests still aren’t accepted by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration. However, the lab will be able to test whether domestic and international cosmetic products cause harm after exposure to light.

Cosmetic products are often tested on animals.

Picture by sjajolika via Pixabay, CC0.

Animal testing is a worldwide problem

Just how often does animal testing occur? More often than you might think.

A 2005 study found that about 115 million animals were used in research that year. And while new technology such as 3D printing and the ability to reproduce human skin in a lab setting may eventually reduce animal testing, in 2016 the U.S. saw a 6.9 percent increase in the animals used in experiments.

Many species are tested on, but according to PETA, 99 percent are rats, mice, birds, and cold-blooded animals. Unfortunately, the majority of these animals aren’t covered by many animal welfare protections, even in the U.S. This allows researchers to inflict extreme suffering, exposing them to harsh chemicals and highly invasive procedures.

How to help stop animal testing

One of the easiest ways to reduce animal testing is to buy cosmetic and skin care products from companies that no longer test on animals. Many substances have been used for years and already tested, so there is little need to undergo more testing.

However, companies are always trying to innovate, so a surprising number of well-known brand names do test on animals in the states or in their international market. To make sure your cosmetic products weren’t tested on animals, you can read LFT’s guide to reading cosmetic labels. In addition, when buying any product or household cleaner, do your research and look for a cruelty-free brand.

Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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  1. christine burgess

    Good they are doing this now tell them to stop killing dogs and cats for their meat and ripping fur out of rabbits etc China is the worst country in the world for cruelty and murder of animals

    Reply Report comment
  2. cindi scholefield

    I had to read this twice, as I could hardly believe it. Shows there is hope for China, along with the sterling work done by more and more animal activists.

    Reply Report comment
  3. Karolina Olszewska

    Finally something good to come out of China. Now they just have to stop torturing and abusing dogs and cats for food.

    Reply Report comment
  4. LucyP

    This is encouraging progress. Plenty of products have been proven safe and effective without testing on animals. There is no excuse for subjecting animals to a lifetime of pain and suffering for a “beauty” product.

    Reply Report comment
  5. linda

    Finally thumbs up for China with a lab that don’t test on animals more countries and cities need to follow this example. It’s has been well overdue and now that it’s here. Hope everyone gets on board with it.

    Reply Report comment
  6. Tammy

    This is brill but the comments have baffaled me a little was I the only one to read this like it says ?? It’s not China so the torturing and eating cats and dogs will stay the same they couldn’t give a shit it’s some compasionate people in China who hate animal abuse trying to show the government and food and drug industry it doesn’t have to be that way. It said that they still won’t except some of the research answer. Come on this is China we’re talking about and the morjority will always be heartless. Fantastic and good on these people for trying I wish them every success.

    Reply Report comment
    • Lesley Adamson

      Isn’t it mainly South Korea that eats dogs and cats?

      Reply Report comment
  7. Amanda

    Good news about the animal testing but do they still consider eating dogs and the torture they endure in dog meat farms as cruel??

    Reply Report comment
  8. Daphne

    Would be a good idea invite signatures to a “non-petition” congatulating the new Chinese Lab?

    Reply Report comment
    • Marlane

      Daphne’s idea is a good one. We ought to congratulate where it’s due in order to encourage more compassion.

      Reply Report comment
  9. Evan

    Mice and rats are some of the sweetest, smartest, most sensitive and social (and funny!) animals
    you will ever meet.

    I can say first-hand that both are at least as smart as most dogs and cats.

    They love their families and kind people.

    They are clever, affectionate, and cleaner than cats. Rats have demonstrated in multiple scientific studies that
    they will work to help other rats and sacrifice (and usually share!) treats with other rats before taking treats themselves.

    It’s heartbreaking that so many suffer such pain, fear, misery and deprivation all their lives.
    It seems they are chosen because they are gentle and easy to handle, reproduce quickly – and lack even the slightest
    protections. They also still suffer more ignorance and the stigma they are merely pests.

    This article is a glimmer of hope though, and all we can do is keep educating and advocating to improve the lives of as many as possible as much as we can.

    Reply Report comment
  10. raju gupta

    we need the uk to pass law that no animals can be used for testing so when this happens i will feel we have won the war not the battle

    Reply Report comment
  11. Allison T Anderson

    I think it’s wonderful that China is looking for alternatives to animal testing. I only wish they’d look for ways to create meat in laboratories so they’d stop torturing dogs and cats for human consumption.

    Reply Report comment
    • Louisa

      And we need to stop eating farm animals and fish if we are truly going to help animals.

      Reply Report comment
  12. Beth Jane Freeman

    It is not necessary to test any products on animals where the animal is harmed. There are other methods, and now even China is taking a big step toward being more humane when it comes to animal testing.

    Reply Report comment
  13. Debra

    Shocking that they are stopping testing on animals, but they still eat any animal or bugs too. Are they going to stop eating dogs and cats too? I hope so. I am considering going vegan myself, but I’ll still have my eggs and dairy.

    Reply Report comment

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