Home Animal A Leap Ahead: EPA Discourages Eye Assessments on Rabbits

A Leap Ahead: EPA Discourages Eye Assessments on Rabbits

A Leap Ahead: EPA Discourages Eye Assessments on Rabbits


It’s time to hop for happiness in the case of progress for rabbits utilized in testing. The U.S. Environmental Safety Company’s (EPA) Workplace of Air pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) has clarified its place on how corporations ought to—and the way the company will—decide industrial chemical compounds’ potential to annoy the eyes.

The EPA’s new doc encourages corporations to submit knowledge from non-animal strategies that use human cells and have the potential to guard people higher, somewhat than utilizing outcomes from the painful and unreliable Draize check that makes use of stay rabbits.

rabbit used in eye-irritation testing

Within the Draize check, which was developed within the Forties, chemical compounds are utilized to rabbits’ eyes and left for twenty-four hours or extra, inflicting ache, swelling, hemorrhaging, and even blindness. The rabbits are normally killed after struggling in these notoriously undependable assessments.

The EPA’s doc is a win-win: It higher protects people from hazardous chemical compounds, and it prevents rabbits from being utilized in toxicity assessments for industrial chemical compounds.

The brand new framework was described in a poster coauthored by PETA scientists, EPA officers, and others and introduced on the 62nd Annual Society of Toxicology convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

PETA scientists have been working for years with authorities establishments, together with the EPA, and personal industries to interchange the rabbit-eye check with extra dependable non-animal strategies.

In 2023, PETA scientists coauthored a paper with the EPA and different collaborators exhibiting strategies that may substitute the usage of stay rabbits to check the results of pesticides on human eyes. The proof introduced on this paper may very well be utilized by the EPA to formally enable corporations to evaluate pesticides with out utilizing stay rabbits.

In 2021, PETA scientists printed a groundbreaking, award-winning paper with the EPA and different collaborators exhibiting that assessments that don’t use rabbits are extra constant than the Draize rabbit check and equally or extra reflective of human responses.

To encourage the uptake of superior non-animal testing strategies instead of rabbits, PETA Science Consortium Worldwide e.V. additionally donated a $20,000 laser-light beam opacitometer to a analysis group that solely develops and conducts non-animal assessments. This piece of kit helps to interchange the usage of stay rabbits in eye assessments.

high tech equipment donated to scientists by PETA Science Consortium

Past Eye Testing

Over the previous few years, the EPA has continued to make progress in adopting strategies that each scale back the variety of assessments on animals and permit it to make better-informed choices relating to the potential dangers of chemical publicity to people.

In 2019, the EPA launched a Work Plan (which was up to date in 2021) outlining concrete steps it will take to cut back toxicity testing on animals and prioritize non-animal testing strategies. The identical yr, the company additionally started internet hosting its personal biennial convention solely dedicated to non-animal strategies.

The EPA actively engages throughout the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Various Strategies (whose activity is to advertise non-animal testing strategies for government-required testing) to boost consciousness of recent developments within the area of non-animal strategies.

The company additionally advances human-relevant, non-animal testing by way of varied cross-sector partnerships, together with collaborations with PETA scientists. For instance, it collaborated with PETA scientists and others on a publication exhibiting {that a} check during which birds are fed pesticide-laced meals for days earlier than they’re killed doesn’t assist shield the surroundings. The EPA then used the publication to launch a coverage to now not require the check, sparing tons of of birds every year. The company additionally collaborates with PETA scientists and others on a webinar sequence particularly designed to coach regulators, business, and the general public on new non-animal testing strategies and how one can use them.

Different current progress consists of steering printed by the EPA proposing cruelty-free strategies as a substitute of conducting pores and skin allergy assessments on mice and a coverage that can save as many as 240 fish every year from being utilized in sure pesticide assessments.

There’s tons extra, however right here’s one remaining necessary instance: With the intention to spotlight alternatives to cut back and substitute the usage of animals in assessments and to trace the discount within the variety of animals used, the EPA developed a web site with the entire above data in a single place. We problem the company to proceed to construct on this progress!

How You Can Assist Rabbits in Laboratories

Be on the aspect of science and refuse to purchase from corporations that check their merchandise on animals:


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