Don’t Wait For A Ban – Stop Buying Animal-Tested Cosmetics Today

albino rabbitsNational bans on animal testing for cosmetics are gaining momentum. The European Union, Norway, Israel, and India have all passed national legislation to inhibit animal testing in the creation of cosmetics. In recent years, some legislators have even made attempts to phase out animal testing for cosmetics in the United States. These are undoubtedly promising developments in the global animal welfare movement. However, enactment of legislation to limit or prohibit testing on animals for cosmetics and other products in the U.S. may be years away. In the meantime, countless rabbits, beagles, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and other animals are languishing in laboratories around the country. Americans must support legislation to stop these nightmarish and unnecessary tests, but everyone living in the United States can stop purchasing animal-tested cosmetics and personal care products now. Rejecting personal care products sold by companies that still use animal testing conveys to those companies that now is the time to end animal testing.

As consumers, finding products that satisfy our preferences, budgets, and consumer ethics can seem like a daunting task. Even the most conscientious consumers may have only a vague understanding of how business, science, and law intersect in regard to animal testing. To add to the confusion, some companies attempt to attract consumers with a “cruelty-free” label without actually abiding by cruelty-free guidelines.

Fortunately, there are resources that make cruelty-free shopping enjoyable and accessible. Thousands of safe and high-quality products are available through companies that don’t test on animals. There are at least three ways consumers can support these companies:

•    An organization known as the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) administers a cruelty-free standard in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and parts of the European Union. Companies listed by the CCIC meet the standards set by the Leaping Bunny Program, which according to the CCIC website guarantee that “…no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.” To use this resource, visit http://www.leapingbunny.org.
•    When shopping for a new cosmetic or personal care product, you can visit the company’s website to learn the company’s policy on animal testing.
•    For spur-of-the-moment purchases, download an app to your smartphone. Many apps are now available that help users discern if animal testing was used with a quick scan of the item’s barcode.

As citizens concerned about animal welfare, we send messages to our lawmakers with pens and paper. As consumers, we communicate with our dollars, and these are messages that no business can ignore.

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When you think about it…do we really need transgenic monkeys?

Instead of using mice for research purposes, transgenic monkeys are being created for use by scientists.

Instead of using mice for research purposes, transgenic monkeys are being created for use by scientists.

According to an article in Scientific American, customized monkeys are now all the rage in the biomedical community. Instead of using mice, researchers are looking toward using primates. This comes at a time when airlines are refusing to transport research monkeys and when many primates are being retired from research facilities. So, which direction are we going in when it comes to using nonhuman animals as research subjects? Are we committed to reducing the numbers who are subjected to the rigors of the research laboratory, or are we creating mutant monkeys so we can use more of them in the labs? We seem to be fractured in our thinking about animals in research. What we do know is that animals who are used in laboratory research suffer, regardless of how well researchers care for them. They suffer because they are denied their lives. So, when you think about it…do we really need transgenic monkeys?

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Just when you think you’ve heard it all

PawsDown

A company called Backyard Brains is encouraging the use of cockroaches among children for vivisection practices.

A company called Backyard Brains is encouraging the use of cockroaches among children for vivisection practices.

Paws Down!
To Backyard Brains and the company’s RoboRoach.

Backyard Brains has introduced a do-it-yourself kit that is supposed to teach children about neurotechnology and electronics. However, it also teaches children to disregard the lives of insects. In the supposed interest of science, children are conducting experiments on cockroaches. Now many people don’t exactly love the cockroach but no one said it was right to experiment on them. And in a climate when many scientists are moving away from using animals in their research, why would we want to educate the next generation in the ways of vivisection?

Take Action: Write a polite note to the CEO of Backyard Brains and urge him and his company to reconsider the product RoboRoach. Suggest the company use the many brains it has to come up with a creative way to teach children about neurotechnology and electronics that does not involve harming living beings.

Greg Gage, CEO
Backyard Brains, Inc.
308 1/2 S. State Street, Suite 35
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Protect Pets

The Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2013 would ensure that all animals used for research are obtained legally.

The Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2013 would ensure that all animals used for research are obtained legally.

U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) has introduced HR 2224, the Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2013. This legislation would prohibit research facilities from using animals obtained from random source Class B dealers, animal brokers who obtain shelter animals to sell to research and education facilities. Class B dealers have been under scrutiny for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including for the illegal acquisition of animals, improper recording keeping, and failure to provide veterinary care as needed. The Pet Safety and Protection Act will amend the Animal Welfare Act to ensure all dogs and cats used by research facilities are legally obtained.

Contact your representatives and urge them to vote in favor of HR 2224, the Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2013.

Funding for Chair of Animal Replacement Science

PawsUpPaws Up!
To the Dr Hadwen Trust in collaboration with the Queen Mary University of London for funding a professional chair in animal replacement science.

According to a news story , “In a world first, the research charity Dr Hadwen Trust has announced it will fund a professorial chair in animal replacement science thanks to a £1m donation from lifelong supporter Alan Stross.

Animals commonly used for research will soon be replaced by more humane practices at the Queen Mary University of London

Animals commonly used for research will soon be replaced by more humane practices at the Queen Mary University of London.

“Kailah Eglington, the trust’s chief executive, said the role, created in collaboration with the Queen Mary University of London , is a major stepping stone in finding alternatives to animal use in medical research.”

Today, we find many scientists do not use animals for testing, but rather use human and animal cell, tissue, and organ cultures; chemical systems; blood products; sophisticated mathematical and computer simulations; and plastic organ models. Advances in tissue engineering and robotics, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, metabonomics, systems biology, and in silico (computer-based) systems offer alternatives to animal use. Animal testing can take months if not years at expenses ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to multi-millions of dollars, whereas computer modeling can take place instantaneously and at far lower costs, especially the cost to the animals and their suffering. In vitro tests involving human cell and tissue cultures are faster, cheaper, and more reliable than animal tests in many instances.

Take Action: Send a note of thanks to these two organizations for their commitment to reduce animal suffering while improving medical research.

Kailah Eglington, Chief Executive
Dr Hadwen Trust
Portmill House, Suite 8
Portmill Lane
Hitchin
Hertfordshisre
SG5 1DJ
United Kingdom

Professor Simon Gaskell, Principal
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
London
E1 4NS
United Kingdom

When you think about it…are mice good models for studying human diseases?

Recent studies have found that mice are an ineffective means to research human diseases.

Recent studies have found that mice are an ineffective means to research human diseases.

A recent New York Times article indicates that using the mouse as a model for studying certain human diseases has been “totally misleading…As a result, years and billions of dollars have been wasted.”

Time and again we find research done on animals to be of little to no use when applied to humans. In addition, some of these studies have actually put humans in harm’s way. Some examples of substances tested on animals that did no harm to them but did to us are: cigarette smoke, benzene, thalidomide, diethylstilbestrol, and asbestos, to name just a few.

Why do researchers continue to waste time, lives, and money on animal models that simply don’t help protect humans from life-threatening diseases? One reason is entrenched thinking. We’ve done research this way for years; we’re going to keep doing it this way. Another is money. There’s a great deal of money tied up in laboratories, salaries, equipment, and the never ending need for animals. But should history and money continue to direct our scientists? It’s time to find nonhuman animal methods to test drugs and procedures. It’s time to realize that a mouse is not a human. It’s way past time. Because, when you think about it…mice are not humans.

Military Saving Lives

PawsUpPaws Up!
To Congress and the president for potentially saving lives of animals used in military training.

More effective technology, such as SimMan 3G, can replace and outperform the use of animals in training.

More effective technology, such as SimMan 3G, can replace and outperform the use of animals in training.

Congress recently passed and the president signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, a document spanning 681 pages. Included in those pages is a provision that calls on the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress by March 1, 2013, “that outlines a strategy, including a detailed timeline, to refine and, when appropriate, transition to using human-based training methods for the purpose of training members of the Armed Forces in the treatment of combat trauma injuries.” (page 187)

Across the United States, more than 95 percent of trauma training courses are taught using only human-based simulators. The American College of Surgeons has approved nonanimal models like the TraumaMan System, SimMan, and cadavers for these courses. And, according to Dr. John Pippin, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “It’s especially inhumane and especially indefensible [to use live animals] when there are alternatives in hand which not only would spare the animals the trauma of going through this but also would provide a better educational experience.”

In addition, instead of using animals, many scientists use human and animal cell, tissue, and organ cultures; chemical systems; blood products; sophisticated mathematical and computer simulations; and plastic organ models. Alternatives, such as Eytex Skintex® and epiPack, take the place of harmful tests on animals. Advances in tissue engineering and robotics, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, metabonomics, systems biology, and in silico (computer-based) systems offer alternatives to animal use. Animal testing can take months if not years at expenses ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to multi-millions of dollars, whereas computer modeling can take place instantaneously and at far lower costs, especially the cost to the animals and their suffering. In vitro tests involving human cell and tissue cultures are faster, cheaper, and more reliable than animal tests in many instances.

Take Action: Contact the president and your legislators and thank them for helping both the animals and the soldiers of our country.

The Honorable Barack Obama
President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Find your Senator.

Find your Representatives.

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