Cruel draize test dropped in EU

Posted on the 24th July 2009

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection has reported that, on 24 July 2009, the European Commission announced the adoption of a non-animal alternative to the cruel Draize test. Every year, some 10,000 animals are used in these tests in the EU.

The new method, commercially labelled as EpiSkin, EpiDerm and SkinEthic, is an in vitro test that uses skin donated by human volunteers. It replaces the notorious 60-year-old Draize test, which assessed the irritancy and harmful effects of chemicals on the skin of rabbits. As rabbits’ skin is considerably more sensitive and delicate than human skin, the pain experienced by these gentle animals must be immense.

The in vitro method was actually validated in 2007 by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, but it has taken more than two years for a commercially available test to be accepted by the European Commission.

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