Recently published data revealed the use of primates in experiments decreased by 49% in the Netherlands in a one year period. There were also “significant reductions” in the use of other animals for experimentation, PETA reported.
Data concerning animal experimentation in Europe was recently, and belatedly, published. The research uncovered figures from the period between 2015 and 2016, showing shifting instances of the use of animals in experiments. In the Netherlands, the use of non-human primates in experiments saw a 49% decline. Similarly, the use of dogs dropped by 13% while horses, donkeys, and other equines were used 31% less. Additionally, the use of goats, sheep, and cattle for experimentation saw a substantial 39% decline.
PETA explained: “The dramatic decline in the use of primates came after PETA Netherlands collected over 100,000 signatures from compassionate people all over Europe and delivered them to politicians in The Hague.”
Subsequently, the Dutch government passed a motion in March 2016 to “phase out experiments” undertaken at the largest primate facility in Europe, the Biomedical Primate Research Centre, which is located in Rijswijk.
Following this move, the then Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Martijn van Dam, announced plans to “end the use of animals in toxicity tests for chemicals, food ingredients, pesticides, veterinary medicines, and vaccines by 2025,” PETA revealed.
The general public is becoming louder in their unwillingness to support businesses which utilise animal testing. Previous data showed 72% of consumers found animal testing “inhumane or unethical”, while a recent survey uncovered 46% of respondents supported a bill to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
The Body Shop recently launched the biggest campaign in history against animal testing. As part of the movement, a petition was circulated which has accumulated more than four million signatures to date.
Regarding animal experimentation in the Netherlands, the report identified the overall number of procedures had dropped almost 40% over the past 17 years. Notably, the most drastic change has occurred in the past three years.
The report also uncovered instances of animal testing in Italy. While some numbers fell noticeably, such as the use of dogs which dropped 19%, other animals were used in experiments more during the observed period. Nonetheless, Italy has seen a clear downward trend in animal experimentation over the past ten years – an overall drop of 32.6%.
These figures emerged shortly after the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to implement non-animal testing methods with the vision to, ultimately, end testing on animals altogether. It has been said that animal experimentation is unreliable as testing products on animals predicts human reactions just 40 to 60% of the time.
Image Credit: The Body Shop