The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), for which the BUAV is Secretariat and the UK member group, has been granted a stakeholder seat at the European Commission’s REACH committee called CARACAL. The Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (CARACAL) committee is an expert group that advises the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency. It meets three times a year in Brussels and is an import forum for political and regulatory issues related to the EU chemical testing legislations REACH and CLP. The ECEAE seat will be shared with another European-wide animal welfare organisation -Eurogroup for Animals -and will be the second seat for animal protection organisations on the committee.
The ECEAE and BUAV Science Advisor, Dr Katy Taylor, stated “We are delighted that the Commission has granted us a seat at the CARACAL meetings. This shows that the Commission has recognised the significant activity carried out by the ECEAE on the REACH issue and the need for us to be involved in this important Committee in Brussels. We hope we can use the opportunity to make sure the interests of animals used in chemicals testing are properly represented”.
REACH is the European chemical testing regime. Set up in June 2006, it stands for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. Its purpose is to establish whether an estimated 30,000 chemicals on the market are safe for humans and the environment, and to control the use of those judged to present a risk. Animal testing will be used to establish the safety of some of these chemicals.
The ECEAE, however, is working to save as many animals as we can, looking at each testing proposal in turn and presenting alternatives - in the form of non-animal testing methods or sourcing existing data where chemicals have already been tested.