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Briefly Speaking NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

AAVS SUPPORTS PETITIONS TO PROTECT CHIMPS Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would accept recommendations made by an internal working group regarding its new policy on chimp research. The majority of NIH-owned chimpanzees will be retired, and any proposals seeking approval for experiments using chimps will be subject to a more stringent level of scrutiny by a special panel. Agency officials called this policy change a “milestone,” saying it represents a new approach in how chimpanzees are used in science, and that they are animals deserving of special consideration. Along with other organizations and advocates, AAVS largely voiced support of the NIH decision, with the exception of keeping a ‘reserve’ chimp colony for possible future use. In opposing this decision, AAVS commented, “Over-reliance on animal models has hampered translating research to human benefit,” and “chimpanzees cannot provide a suitable model for statistically relevant investigations due, at the least, to the practical limits on sample size.... Their unique biological characteristics and vulnerability to emotional and physical trauma call into question any experimental results.” NIH has authorized the transfer of several chimpanzees to their new sanctuary home, Chimp Haven, and they are slowly integrating into their own social groups. Although some animals have been moved in a timely fashion, AAVS anticipates that continued vigilance will be necessary to ensure that retired chimpanzees do not languish in research facilities. In related news, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is reviewing comments received regarding its proposal to list both captive and wild chimpanzees as endangered. Currently, only chimps in the wild are listed as endangered, while those in captivity are considered merely threatened. This distinction allows for the continued use of captive chimpanzees in entertainment and research. In formal comments submitted to the FWS, AAVS argues that due to the mountain of evidence documenting that these animals are not needed for biomedical research, “chimpanzees…are being ‘overutilized,’ considering that they have been used in large numbers for scientific purposes.” Listing all chimpanzees as endangered will help end the exploitation of these animals. Also, unlike the new NIH policy, the FWS proposal will affect privately owned chimpanzees used in research as well.


As the Chair of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), AAVS is pleased that a European Union (EU) ban prohibiting the sale of cosmetics that are tested on animals officially went into effect on March 11. It is now illegal to market, import, or sell animaltested cosmetics in the 27 countries that makeup the EU. CCIC’s international partner, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, has worked on this issue for over two decades. In the U.S. and Canada, CCIC administers the Leaping Bunny Program, which certifies companies as cruelty-free. “We see the new EU law banning the sale of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals as an important milestone,” said Sue Leary, President of AAVS. “We join our partners in the EU in celebrating this momentous occasion.” However, CCIC warns consumers that, despite the ban, not all companies selling products in Europe are free of new animal testing. Questions remain about how the ban will be interpreted in individual EU member countries, and some ingredients used in products other than just cosmetics could still be tested on animals for purposes like environmental toxicity. Additionally, in other countries like China, companies are required to conduct animal tests on their products, and it is unlikely that EU officials will restrict companies that sell in Europe from doing this. CCIC urges consumers to continue to look for the Leaping Bunny Logo to make informed choices when shopping for cruelty-free cosmetics and other personal care items. Companies certified by Leaping Bunny cannot test their products or ingredients on animals, regardless of international regulatory policies. Leaping Bunny also certifies companies that manufacture household products, which are unaffected by this new animal testing ban.


EU Bans Cosmetics Tested on Animals

AV Magazine Issue 1-3 2013  

Lost, Stolen, Surrendered and Sold: How Pets Land in Labs

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