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ECEAE disappointment with latest ECHA Board of Appeal Decision on animal chemical tests

The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) has today expressed its disappointment with the latest European Chemicals Agency Board of Appeal decision relating to animal testing issues.

The case brought by Lanxess, a German based international chemical company, related to whether the Board of Appeal should extend the deadline for submission of a 90-day animal test because the test was about to be conducted by US authorities. It also covered the issue of whether a prenatal developmental toxicity study in a second species was a default requirement for the highest production substances (Annex X substances).

The Board today ruled that, because the data of the US test was still uncertain, it would not request an extension. Lanxess has until October 2015 to conduct the test. The ECEAE brought the issue of the planned 90-day test in the US to the attention of Lanxess in an attempt to prevent duplicative testing. We were pleased that the company sought to gain an extension to prevent this unnecessary testing and we are subsequently disappointed that a solution could not be achieved, either through extension of the deadline or cooperation between the EU and US agencies. We will be urging the National Toxicology Programme in the US to pay heed to the Lanxess study, if it is conducted, and not duplicate the animal test, which will use at least 100 animals.

With regard to the need for a second test for prenatal developmental toxicity for the highest production chemicals, the ECEAE strongly disagrees with the legal analysis of the Agency and the Board of Appeal which, we believe, ignores what both REACH and its guidance actually states. The company is now required to conduct a test using over 580 rabbits, which both the company and ourselves consider to be totally unnecessary.

The ECEAE is the leading organisation within the EU campaigning on the issue of REACH and animal testing. Our team of scientists study each testing proposal in turn and present alternatives - in the form of non-animal testing methods or sourcing existing data where chemicals have already been tested.

The ECEAE is also:

  • Encouraging chemical regulators to promote and accept alternative methods (as they should under the REACH legislation)
  • Encouraging the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency to ensure the maximum use of valid alternative methods by the industry
  • Monitoring the REACH process by acting as an observer at ECHA and other important meetings so that the animal protection message continues to be heard

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