New animal statistics misleading about painful tests for cosmetic Botox
While the IAVS is relieved that the number of animals used in painful experiments decreased slightly in 2011, the latest Department of Health statistics report that the total number of animals used in Irish laboratories in 2011 was still very significant at 264,990. Animal experimentation in Ireland has remained at historically unprecedented levels, and this raises concerns about Government and research industry indifference regarding cruelty to animals: a drop of just 5% in the number of animals used in 2011 is nowhere near enough.
The statistics show a massive 55% increase – 62,732 more mice - subjected to the most barbarous, lethal LD50 poisoning tests. Most of these animals are suffering for cosmetic Botox and similar products, yet the statistics obscure this by listing them under the ‘other products’ column rather than being up front and putting them in the ‘Cosmetics’ column. This makes the published statistics 'not fit for purpose'; placing the majority of animal tests into the ‘miscellaneous/other’ columns frustrates informed debate and democratic accountability.
We are very concerned that the figures published are misleading: public accountability is crucial for such extreme tests, where mice are injected into the abdomen with the botulinum toxin and become increasingly paralysed, eventually gasping for breath and suffocating to death. The degree of suffering endured by these animals is beyond comprehension. The fact that it just for such a trivial and unnecessary vanity product shames our society.
The IAVS welcomes the introduction of a non-animal method to test Allergan’s Botox products, which should reduce the number of animals sacrificed by Allergan from spring 2012. However, we are concerned that the new test hasn’t yet been adopted by other botulinum toxin producers such as Ipsen and Merz, and we call on the industry and Government to work together urgently to stop this unnecessary and severe animal cruelty.
Download a copy of the 2011 Statistical Reports on the use of Animals for Experimental and other Scientific purposes in Ireland here.