PETITION TARGET: European Commission
More than 12 million animals were infected, poisoned, blinded, brain damaged, shocked and otherwise tortured in experiments in the European Union (EU) in a single year, according to European Commission data.
Millions more animals are harmed in experiments each year around the world. Of those, an estimated 65 percent of the animals don’t get any painkillers, while an estimated 22 percent receive only partial anesthesia. At the end of the inhumane experiments, a horrific 75 percent of animals are killed, according to data from nonprofit Stop Vivisection.
Those helpless animals’ sacrifices often lead to no clear benefit for humans, given genetic differences between people and other animals that make results from safety testing on animals unreliable and dangerous.
One of the many examples is Lipobay, created to treat high cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, which passed safety testing on animals but was withdrawn from the human market after a reported 52 people died from kidney failure. Meanwhile, human-helpful treatments — including Penicillin — can be delayed from hitting human markets because they failed initial safety tests in animals.
More than 90 percent of drugs that pass safety tests on animals — including life-saving vaccines — never make it to human markets: adding up to lost time, lost lives, and lost money that could be invested in more reliable and more humane alternatives.
The European Parliament considered these factors when passing a resolution with a 667-4 vote to shift away from all animal testing and focus instead on innovative alternatives. The resolution requires concrete deadlines, as well as increased funds to develop alternatives and training for scientists in those methods.
The European Commission now needs to decide what it will do next.
Shifting experiments to human biology-based models is the right thing to do — not only because countless animal lives will be saved but because human-specific technologies will lead to quicker, more accurate, and safer treatments for human disease.
Sign our petition urging the European Commission to support the life-saving resolution’s provisions to increase funding for developing alternatives to animal testing, to teach those alternatives to traditionally-trained scientists, and to accelerate the transition to safe and effective human-biology based alternatives as soon as possible.