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Drug Company Spares Hundreds of Animals

Written by Alisa Mullins | November 30, 2011

In a move that has been a decade in the making, pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has announced that it will no longer use animals in quality-control tests of each batch of the biological products—including vaccines—that it manufactures. This move will spare more than 700 animals every year.

Scientists in PETA’s Regulatory Testing Division (RTD) have been working for years to promote the implementation of non-animal methods for vaccine batch–testing and recently published an article in the science journal Animals highlighting the multipronged approach that they have used to save thousands of animals’ lives.

Of the approximately 10 million animals used annually to produce vaccines, about 80 percent are used in horrifyingly painful testing that is conducted for each batch of vaccines, so it is easy to understand why RTD’s work is critically important.

Among the successes detailed in the journal article was pushing industry to take full advantage of available alternatives to the use of hamsters and other animals for testing the leptospirosis vaccine. PETA also tackled erysipelas testing and achieved an exciting victory when the U.S. Department of Agriculture replaced the protocol for testing on pigs with the non-animal method.

RTD continues to hammer away at other gruesome government-mandated experiments, including the one for rabies batch potency–testing, which requires injecting hundreds of mice with the rabies virus—for each batch of rabies vaccine. The injections go through the animals’ skulls and directly into their brains. Half of the animals receive a protective vaccine, while the others do not. Most of the unprotected mice die painfully and slowly from convulsions, loss of muscle control, and eventual suffocation.

Not only are the tests for vaccine potency typically very painful, drawn out, and lethal for animals, regulators also agree that they are not as effective as modern methods of testing vaccine strength and safety. Better, more precise tests have been developed but have not yet been validated for use.

You can help support RTD’s efforts to pressure government agencies to validate effective, sophisticated alternatives to animal tests by donating today.

Commenting is closed.
  • JJ says:

    I am twelve and I agree of animal testing on medical researches not on makeup or whatever. If not for animal testing 50% of us wouldn’t live past childhood. The only reason we don’t have leprosy is because of animal testing. I’m not saying we should test animals for like unnecessary reasons but for cancer yeah. I love animals but if I have to chose between the life of some squirrels or my family i would save my family every time

  • Kathleen says:

    Well, this is certainly a step in the right direction!!! I hope more GREEDY companies follow there lead, big pharm still makes me SICK! BUT no animal testing is a definite win!!!

  • sadhuvedantmunijain says:

    testing of medicines on innocent animals is a heinous crime. they have also equal right to survive like us in respectable way.researchers are doing knowingly this crime.we have to adopt such methods which do not require no clinical trials on animals.i want to say with proud that AYURVED SCIENCE OF LIFE , INDIAN SYSTEM OF MEDICINE have million formulas based on self proved , they do not require any researches, they are self proved. they are covering all branches of the body.we have to adopt those formula with open mind, eye and this we can prevent the unnecessary killings of innocent animals.we should adopt indigenous systems based on scientific proofs.