In
a move that has been a decade in the making, pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk
has announced that it will no longer use animals in quality-control tests of
each batch of the biological products—including vaccines—that it manufactures. This move will spare
more than 700 animals every year. 

Scientists
in PETA’s Regulatory
Testing Division
(RTD) have been working for years to
promote the implementation of non-animal methods for vaccine batch–testing and recently published an
article in the science journal Animals
highlighting the multipronged approach that they have used to save thousands of
animals’ lives. 

Of the
approximately 10 million animals used annually to produce vaccines, about 80
percent are used in horrifyingly painful testing that is conducted for each
batch of vaccines, so it is easy to understand why RTD’s work is critically
important. 

Among
the successes detailed in the journal article was pushing industry to take full
advantage of available alternatives to the use of hamsters and other animals
for testing the leptospirosis
vaccine. PETA also tackled erysipelas
testing

and achieved an exciting victory when the U.S. Department of Agriculture
replaced the protocol for testing on pigs with the non-animal method. 

RTD
continues to hammer away at other gruesome government-mandated experiments, including
the one for rabies batch potency–testing, which requires injecting
hundreds of mice with the rabies virus—for each batch of rabies vaccine.
The injections go through the animals’ skulls and directly into their brains.
Half of the animals receive a protective vaccine, while the others do not. Most
of the unprotected mice die painfully and slowly from convulsions, loss of
muscle control, and eventual suffocation. 

Not only
are the tests for vaccine potency typically very painful, drawn out, and lethal
for animals, regulators also agree that they are not as effective as modern
methods of testing vaccine strength and safety. Better, more precise tests have
been developed but have not yet been validated for use. 

You can
help support RTD’s efforts to pressure government agencies to validate
effective, sophisticated alternatives to animal tests by donating today

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Article source: PETA Files

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