Research organization Bundesministerium für Ernährung undLandwirtschaft (BMEL) submitted its 2015 statistic report—the most current information available—to the European Union recently. BMEL’s report showed a 15.5 percent decrease (513,937 individuals) in the amount of animals used for testing in German labs in 2015 from the previous year. The report revealed that nearly 2.8 million animals were used for experiments in 2015, with the top three species being mice (2,031,338), rats (326,233), and fish (201,655). PETA’s Senior Laboratory Oversight Specialist Alka Chandna tells VegNews that while this decrease can be promising, the numbers are misleading, as reporting practices are skewed and millions of animals are still needlessly suffering in laboratories worldwide. Notably, since 2014, the number of primates, dogs, and cats used in testing in Germany has increased by 112 percent (to 3,141), 104 percent (to 4,491), and 91 percent (to 1,112), respectively. Chadna identifies several developments that she feels bring some hope to ending animal-based testing, namely the Dutch government’s recent announcement of its intent to phase out all chemical animal testing by 2025, as well as the iChip—a technique developed by researchers in California that embeds human cells onto a microchip, which is then exposed to chemicals to determine their effect. “We continue to work for an end to all experiments on animals—both for the animals’ sake and our own,” Chandna says, “as the search for cures and treatments for disease is being held up by the reliance on archaic animal studies.”
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