We told you about this work in August 2017, and now we have an update. As you know, following an appeal by PETA India, the Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIB-RC) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare formed a committee consisting of representatives from PETA India and other stakeholders to review the “Guidance Document on Toxicology for Registration of Pesticides in India”. Several meetings and discussions have been held since 2015, and the CIB-RC has made numerous changes to the document. Specifically, the updated guidance provides criteria for avoiding certain tests on animals, states that the principles of the 3Rs of animal use (replacement, reduction, and refinement) must be taken into account in the fulfilment of registration requirements, and confirms that certain non-animal methods will be accepted in place of animal tests, sparing thousands of animals the ordeal of undergoing pesticide tests.
Testing on animals to assess the effects of pesticides on the immune system will now be performed only as needed on a case-by-case basis. Mice are now exempt from a test in which they were force-fed chemicals, and certain species of birds are now exempt from a test in which they were force-fed pesticides. Also, a test which previously took 28 days can now be performed in as little as seven days, significantly reducing the number of animals used. Furthermore, animal tests that assess effects on the nervous system are no longer compulsory for all pesticides; instead, the CIB-RC will consider all existing data before requesting animal tests. For other tests, the board has modified protocols so that far fewer animals will be required.
But our work is not done. PETA India will continue to use its seat on the committee to spare more animals the pain and suffering of being used in these tests.
You can help animals suffering in cruel tests. Buy only cruelty-free cosmetics and household products. Check out the list here.