All about cats

What are cats used for in animal testing

Animal testing is a process in which products or ideas that are not yet commercially viable or fully tested are tested on animals. Most countries enforce strict laws regarding animal testing, but the UK is not a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Consequently, there are no legal requirements to phase out animal testing in the UK.

The European Union has banned the import, export, sale and use of all cosmetics tested on animals, but the UK has not ratified this agreement.

Views on animal testing

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states: ‘The burden of cancer is unevenly distributed between men and women and is the leading cause of death worldwide.’

‘Cancer can be prevented by adopting measures to reduce the risk of cancer. These include limiting exposure to known carcinogens and reducing the use of products that cause cancer in humans.’

What are the alternatives to animal testing?

Alternatives to animal testing include computer modelling, cell and tissue cultures, in vitro experiments and in silico experiments.

Computer modelling is used to predict how chemicals and carcinogens might behave in cells and tissues in the body. Cell and tissue cultures are used to grow cells and tissues under controlled conditions.

In vitro experiments are used to mimic the effects of chemicals or carcinogens in a test tube, such as in a petri dish. In silico experiments are used to predict how chemicals or carcinogens will behave in a computer simulation.

In 2011, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a list of alternatives to animal testing. The list included computer modelling, cell and tissue cultures, in vitro experiments and in silico experiments.

Computer modelling

In vitro experiments

In vitro experiments simulate the effects of chemicals or carcinogens in a test tube, such as in a petri dish. In silico experiments are used to predict how chemicals or carcinogens will behave in a computer simulation.

Cell and tissue cultures

Cell and tissue cultures are used to grow cells and tissues under controlled conditions.

In silico experiments

In silico experiments are used to predict how chemicals or carcinogens will behave in a computer simulation.

Alternative methods of testing

In 2011, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a list of alternatives to animal testing.

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