The ECEAE, a coalition of European animal organisations for which the BUAV is lead member has responded with dismay at news that the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has asked a company to perform an animal test that is over and beyond REACH chemicals testing requirements. The test that has been requested is a 90 day inhalation study in rabbits. The substance is 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene, which is used as a refrigerant in air conditioning systems in cars. The decision was made in April by ECHA at the Member State Committee meeting but stakeholders, including the ECEAE, were barred from the session. Honeywell Belgium has lodged an appeal against the decision as it does not think the test is needed and will cause extreme stress to the rabbits. Furthermore, earlier animal tests have already been carried out on the substance in question.
Dr Katy Taylor, the Senior Science Advisor to the ECEAE and the BUAV stated "The ECEAE is dismayed by the requirement for this cruel and nasty animal test which will involve rabbits being forced to inhale a refrigerant. We are deeply concerned about the Chemical Agency's stance on this and urge it to re-consider its decision."
The ECEAE has been successful in campaigning for some highly significant amendments to the REACH legislation. These include the promotion of alternative methods, data sharing and scrutiny of test proposals.