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The Ministry of Research has authorised animal testing projects that underestimate pain inflicted

The Ministry of Research has authorised animal testing projects that underestimate pain inflicted

Mis à jour le 11 July 2023

At the end of April, the Ministries of Higher Education and of Research authorised three new animal testing projects containing serious mistakes. In the non-technical summaries of the procedures in question, the information regarding the degree of severity does not correspond to the true suffering inflicted on the animals. One Voice is asking for a new assessment.

Hr blog

On 18 April, a symposium on animal testing gathered several hundred people together online. At the event, researcher Francelyne Marano maintained that if France carries out more tests classified as ‘severe’ than other European countries, it is because French ethical committees over-classify projects to bring attention to animal suffering. This argument, widespread among animal testing supporters, can be easily refuted with all recent procedures being classified as ‘severe’ having been done so quite rightly.

Barely even three days later, the Ministries of Higher Education and of Research provided us with new proof incriminating French laboratories by authorising three projects with errors in the assessment of their severity. Killing two birds with one stone, they accepted minimising the pain inflicted on the animals being tested on and lying to the general public.

Regulations trampled over and thousands of animals subjected to profound distress

The first project approved by the Ministry aims to expose 1664 young fish to a toxic substance for several days, as well as an increase in temperature, before killing them. No mention of anaesthesia is made and it is therefore fully aware that they will be intoxicated. However, the summary classifies the experiment as being like those that are carried out under full general anaesthetic...

The second experiment, supposedly mild, plans to inject psychotropic drugs several times into 1062 baby mice. Once they are adults, they must be subjected to tests lasting five to ten minutes each, some of which lead to them getting lost in a maze or being forced to swim. Two procedures that are far from allowing them to escape from anguish, as stated in the regulations on the subject of tests leading to pain said to be mild. How can anyone imagine that a mouse plunged into a container of water for several minutes, without knowing if they will come back out alive, can escape from the stress induced by this?

Finally, the Ministry has approved a project that classifies inflicting ‘chronic pain’ for five to twelve weeks on mice, as well as subjecting them to behavioural tests designed to evaluate their pain, as ‘moderate’.

If the degrees of severity indicated are false, how can an ethical evaluation of tests on animals be reliable? And in this case, what is the point of the ethical committees who are in charge?

We have written to the Ministry to ask for a suspension of the authorisation and a re-evaluation of these projects. We are still fully committed to rallying and are renewing our request for a reform of ethical committees in animal testing.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Marion Henriet
Hr blog

In the subject

The 2022 figures on animal testing have finally come out... and are not reassuring In 2024, mice and rats continue to be subjected to the worst experiments in French laboratories

Comments 2

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

A | Saturday 20 May 2023

Quelle est cette institution, dépourvue de toute éthique, encourageant d'ignobles souffrances inutiles sur les animaux de laboratoires ? Honte à l'Etat !

trochu | Tuesday 16 May 2023

Epouvantable et abominable, alors que la grande majorité des français est fermement opposée à l'expérimentation animale, que faire pour l'interdire définitivement ? Que faut-il de plus pour que ces exploitations d'animaux cessent à jamais ? C'est scandaleux en 2023, que de continuer à faire souffrir à l'extrême des êtres vivants que sont les animaux juste pour les soi-disant "besoins des humains". Plus que révoltant et ne donne que toujours plus l'envie de détester les humains qui cautionnent de telles horreurs.