Cruelty Free International is calling on the EU to realise its commitment to animal protection by providing it with a new six-point plan.
The plan has been given to members of the European Parliament's Petitions Committee, who are also considering a petition signed by more than 100,000 people at its meeting this month.
In the aftermath of the REACH chemical registration deadline in June, the animal rights organisation said it is "concerned" that the risk of animal testing is now even higher.
It said that this is due to the way in which "European authorities are implementing safety requirements to satisfy REACH in addition to the subsequent knock-on effect to cosmetic legislation".
Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs at Cruelty Free International, said: “We are deeply saddened that so far at least 2.2 million animals have been forced to suffer in laboratories for REACH.
"Tragically we do not believe that harming animals in the testing of chemicals serves to protect people in any way.
"Time and time again animal testing has proven to be unreliable.
"We urge the Commission and the European Chemicals Agency to fulfil their promise to the public that animal testing should only be used as a ‘last resort’.”
The animal testing ban plan
The six-point plan drawn up by Cruelty Free International includes:
- The Commission should speed up implementation of the Test Methods Regulation to ensure that all bureaucratic and administrative obstacles holding up the validation of alternative methods are removed.
- The Commission and Member States must ensure that desire for international harmonisation of chemicals regulation does not lead to the continued use of animal testing anywhere in the world where an alternative method has already been recognised as suitable for use in Europe.
- The ECHA must do more to support the appropriate use of alternative methods through positive guidance to industry and Member States on what is required to avoid animal testing.
- EU Member States should support the articles in REACH law that state animal testing should be a last resort and reject speculative requests for animal testing for substance evaluation.
- The Commission and Member States should dedicate more funding to alternative methods.
- The Commission and Member States should honour both public opinion in Europe and the political will expressed in the Cosmetics Regulation and in the European Parliament’s recent resolution to end cosmetics animal testing globally by doing all they can to secure international agreement to this end and by putting a stop to the testing under REACH of both new and existing chemicals that are used in cosmetics.
Speeding up alternatives
Cruelty Free International has been campaigning for new legislation to scale back animal testing and speed up the adoption of alternatives.
In May it criticised the EU for taking too long to approve humane methods.