FOUR PAWS are concerned that with our departure from the European Union, the UK could need to undertake a substantial increase in animal testing. This is because British companies do not own the data for roughly 75% of the chemicals covered by the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation, meaning that they would need to reproduce many of the tests that have already been undertaken.
The way forward is still unclear. The Government needs to ensure this data is captured before our departure to prevent cruel and unnecessary suffering of thousands of animals. With an estimated 2.6 million animals tested every year in the UK, putting us in the top 10 globally and highest in the EU, it is important that the testing of animals does not increase further.
Animals who undergo testing suffer immensely and are unable to live a good life. They feel pain and fear, and their natural instincts – like ours – are to be free and to protect their own lives. This freedom is stripped from them, and the suffering that they endure is not always considered or made clear in the products that arise as a result.
Although the UK is unlikely to allow cosmetics testing on animals to begin again, this does not mean that we won’t contribute to this cruelty as a nation. This is because the EU Cosmetics Directive also bans the import of products that have been tested on animals. With this in place, manufacturers in the USA, China, and others will be prevented from selling their products in Europe if they have been tested.
We need to ensure that the Government maintain this stance and do not permit the import of products that undermine our own standards and create more suffering for animals around the world.
What can I do to help animals?
There are lots of things you can do to help animals as the Brexit transition period comes to an end:
Write to your MP today or meet with them in person, and ask them to support a Better deal of Animals, where animal welfare is at the top of the agenda in trade negotiations
Sign petitions and support campaign actions – the more of us that work together, the greater our voice will be
Get informed and spread the word - be vocal on social media, and even tweet your MP or the Prime Minister, make your voice heard, together we can make a difference