04/24/08 The Hidden Victims of the Laboratory

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Animal Friends marks the World Day for Laboratory Animals

Every year on April 24, compassionate people around the world speak out on behalf of the victims of vivisection. The World Day for Laboratory Animals is a time to reflect upon the suffering of millions of mice, cats, monkeys, fish, rats, dogs, bird, rabbits, guinea pigs, pigs, horses, and many other species.

Animal Friends will mark World Day for Laboratory Animals by setting up intriguing billboards in the center of Zagreb. The billboard will also be presented on the information stalls in Split, Zagreb, and Slavonski Brod, where citizens will have the opportunity to receive leaflets with the list of cosmetic companies that do not test their products and ingredients on animals.

On April 24 at 12 noon in the city center of Slavonski Brod, Animal Friends' activists will demonstrate a skin irritancy test by painting their faces blood-red while and holding banners.

The skin irritancy test is one of the most common tests in which a concentrate chemical is applied on shaved skin of an animal, with effects being monitored for a several days. The wounds are horrible, pain unbearable, and the animals do not get any painkillers.

Animals are also poisoned to death in so called "safety tests." In disease research, they are surgically mutilated, blinded, burnt, starved, psychologically tormented, and infected with lethal viruses.

The UK conducts about three million experiments every year. A poll of British GPs found that more than 80 per cent are concerned about the reliability of animal research. One recent major study assessed the accuracy of more than 200 research projects that used thousands of animals. Around half failed to predict human outcomes accurately.

In the European Parliament, a large majority of MEPs has called for an end to monkey experiments. Our closest genetic relative, the chimpanzee, is essentially unharmed by a range of illnesses that devastate people. These include HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and common malaria.

The Croatian Animal Protection Act prohibits experiments on animals for testing of cosmetics and their ingredients as well as cleaning agents, while the European Union also plans to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.

There is no legal obligation for testing cosmetic products on animals – animal testing protects only producers, not the consumers. For them, it is an easy way to satisfy the legal obligation and protect themselves from possible charges.

Animal Friends invites everyone to only buy products that are not tested on animals. The so-called "white list," which can be found at www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr, shows companies which do not test their products and necessary ingredients on animals, but rather use alternative methods. Those methods not only do not kill animals, but also provide a better guarantee for safe human consumption.

Using animals to test products is unreliable, expensive and slow. Science will not progress until the use of live animals in experiments will be completely abandoned, and scientists will switch to modern, humane testing methods, such as the use of cells and computer models.

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