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As UK Environment Bill returns to parliament we say it must do more to end animal tests for chemicals

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Guinea Pig in Blanket

As Bill moves to Lords we want targets set to phase these tests out

With the UK Environment Bill having completed its time in the House of Commons, it is now moving on to the Lords and we are repeating our call for amendments to reduce and replace cruel and unreliable tests on animals for chemicals.

The Bill, first introduced in 2019, sets out the UK’s plans for delivering against the long-term targets of the 25-Year Environment Bill after Brexit. As the Bill was discussed by the UK House of Commons Environment Bill Committee last year we urged UK MPs to ensure that the government had a pro-active plan in place to phase out chemical tests on animals.

An amendment calling for a targets-based strategy for reduction and replacement to be written into law tabled by Caroline Lucas MP received cross-party support in debate from MPs including Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwrand, and Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East.

Although the UK government has repeatedly stressed that it will use Brexit as an opportunity to do more for animal protection, ministers have so far rejected  proposals to do more and set binding targets to end animal testing and animals in laboratories are missing from the raft of animal welfare legislation following the recent Queen’s Speech.

Our Director of Public Affairs, Kerry Postlewhite said: “The UK Environment Bill is a chance to see the commitment from government to do more for animals put into action. While we are pleased the Bill confirms he principles we helped win in EU chemicals law that animal testing should only be used as a last resort and non-animal tests should be promoted, the government has so far rejected moves to put in place targets to reduce and replace animal testing for chemicals.

“We hope that REACH animal testing will be examined in the House of Lords so the UK can prove it is serious about animal protection by adopting a forward-looking Environment Bill that moves away from cruel and ineffective animal testing. Science is increasingly demonstrating there are more humane and human-relevant ways to ensure chemical safety and assess risks to human and environmental health that avoids the needless suffering of animals in laboratories.”

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