Despite the mountains of evidence showing that tests on other animals are cruel and unreliable, chemicals are still being applied to the eyes of live rabbits in order to predict whether a substance will cause eye irritation in humans.
This test—known as the Draize rabbit eye test —dates back to the early 1940s, and the archaic method is still used today. In this experiment, rabbits may experience significant pain, swelling, hemorrhaging, or cloudy vision and may even go blind in the eye that is tested on.
PETA Scientists Are Working to End the Use of Rabbits in Eye Irritation Tests
To ensure that tests on rabbits are replaced as quickly as possible with superior methods, PETA scientists are collaborating with government institutions, contract research organizations, and companies to gain regulatory acceptance for non-animal methods and ensure access to the equipment needed to perform the alternative tests.
In 2021, PETA scientists and their expert collaborators from government agencies and private laboratories published a paper showing that methods that do not use live rabbits were as, if not more, reflective of human biology and that their results were more consistent than the rabbit test. Most recently, PETA Science Consortium International e.V. donated a piece of equipment—worth $20,000—to a contract research organization that exclusively develops and conducts non-animal tests. This donation will allow for the generation of results without using live animals.
Animals Aren’t Test Tubes—Help PETA Prevent Them From Being Used in Laboratories
Rabbits, like all other animals, don’t want to be killed in experiments. Help us prevent our fellow animals from being used in cruel experiments by supporting our Research Modernization Deal, which outlines a plan for replacing tests on animals with human-relevant methods:
Not a U.S. resident? You can still check out PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies database of companies that do and that do not test on animals: