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Tory Brexit chaos could lead to increased animal testing

by Steve Beasant on 26 March, 2019

Today the Liberal Democrats tabled a fatal motion to the REACH Statutory Instrument in the House of Lords.

For the past 11 years, chemical use in the UK has been regulated through REACH, the EU’s chemical regime. This statutory instrument puts into legislation how chemical regulation will be administered in the case of a no-deal Brexit. 

It is estimated that 488 chemical substances would need to be reassessed, which would lead to animal tests being reconducted.

Following the debate on his motion, Liberal Democrat BEIS Spokesperson, Chris Fox said:

“The Conservative Government’s chaotic handling of Brexit is no different when it comes to how we test chemicals. There are nearly 500 that will need reassessing in a no-deal scenario, but alarmingly, the Tories have no plan for how this will happen, let alone a hope of sticking to the deadline.

“This process will not only be extremely expensive and time-consuming, but will lead to more animal testing.

“If this process is not done properly or on time, the risks are paramount. Chemicals affect each and every one of us, which is why this failure by the Conservatives is so worrying.”

Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat DEFRA Spokesperson, added:

“The REACH programme has minimised animal tests throughout the years through data sharing – among other measures. Something the UK promoted when REACH was created.

“If access to REACH is not negotiated in the case of a no-deal, UK companies will not only have to replicate animal testing for the existing chemical substances, but any new chemicals will be tested on animals by the EU and the UK separately. The Conservative Government has admitted this, but have yet to come up with adequate plans to prevent it.

“Putting animals through unnecessary suffering is frankly outrageous and should shame this Government.”

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