As Drug, Cosmetic Companies Announce Plans to Cut Animal Testing, UBC Stuck in Dark Ages

VANCOUVER (December 1, 2010) – Today, Stop UBC Animal Research, praised major drug and cosmetic companies for announcing plans to cut animal testing while condemning the University of British Columbia (UBC) for “stubbornly clinging to the past” as the university continues its animal research programs. According to the Daily Telegraph, leading companies, including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, AstraZeneca, and L’Oreal have endorsed a European-wide plan to end animal testing in favour of more humane approaches. In a report to be published this week, the companies will say “the future of safety testing of new drugs and chemical products lies in new technologies that use cell cultures and computer models rather than living animals.”


“As UBC researchers continue to perform painful and unnecessary experiments on mice, monkeys, cats, pigs, rats, and rabbits, the world’s leading companies are preparing to move beyond the antiquated, barbaric use of animals,” said Brian Vincent, spokesman with Stop UBC Animal Research. “UBC is stuck in the dark ages. The university should realize there is no future in cruelty.”


In the report, the companies state: “Today we are at a new biological milestone, where we could – with sufficient international and political support…produce the means and the technology to test and assess the human and environmental risk of tens of thousands of chemicals per year without using animals.” According to the Telegraph, the report notes “a range of new technology and approaches that provide alternatives to using animals, including the use of embryonic stem cells to create heart tissue that can be used for drug testing, robotic screening of drugs and computer programs that can predict the effect of a drug in the body.” The industry report concludes that robotic alternatives are quicker and cheaper to use than animals.


Stop UBC Animal Research, an all-volunteer group that launched in February, has discovered that UBC researchers have been performing highly invasive and painful experiments on monkeys, cats, rats, rabbits, pigs, mice, and other animals. The animal advocates said UBC should instead focus on non-animal methods that are not only humane, but are far more applicable and relevant to humans.