September 28, 2009
European Chemicals Agency
Annankatu 18, P.O. Box 400
Dear Mr. Dancet,
Thank you for sparing more than 4 million animals who were fated to die in duplicative chemical tests in Europe. I know that the European Chemicals Agency administers the world's largest animal testing program, and as an honorary director of PETA, I was heartened to learn that you acted to alleviate needless suffering. It is a major step forward—a most civilized act for the smallest and often most mistreated of animals—and I must say, the fact that you are based in Helsinki makes me doubly proud to be of Finnish descent.
Last year, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak on Capitol Hill against the continued use by the U.S. government of the most outdated chemical tests on animals. Now, as you know, the European Union's chemical testing program will also cause immense suffering to tens of millions of animals in tests conducted for tens of thousands of chemicals. PETA and other organizations worked hard to prevent as many animal deaths as possible when the regulations passed through the EU's legislative process and, thanks to their efforts, animal use was reduced and non-animal methods are being better promoted. Since the law was passed, PETA and other groups, such as the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, have remained vigilant and are still fighting to spare more animals.
We are delighted that, after you received the joint letter from animal protection groups, including PETA U.S. and PETA Europe, outlining the serious problem of duplicative tests, you issued instructions to companies on how to avoid initial screening tests for approximately 6,000 chemicals.This single prompt action could save as many as 4.5 million animals.
There is much more that can be done to prevent animal tests in this program, and PETA and others will keep scrutinizing every comma and clause of the legislation and will jump on every opportunity to save lives. I sincerely hope that the agency will prove to be as responsive, responsible, and compassionate each and every time animal advocates get in touch as you have been on this occasion.
On behalf of millions of animals now saved from suffering and death, thank you again for taking