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Animal Experiments: Chemicals

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 155422, tabled on 19 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason the provision included in Title V, Section 5 of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, on safety testing of plant protection or biocidal products, that states that each Party shall establish rules to avoid duplicative testing on vertebrate animals, does not also apply to other categories of products.

Answered on

1 March 2021

Under the terms of the Chemicals Annex of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, exchanges of non-confidential information between the UK and the EU will need the agreement of both parties. This could potentially include study summaries relating to animal testing, but that would need to be agreed with the EU and will depend on the status of the studies. We will continue to work with the EU on how the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement will be put into operation going forward

UK REACH retains both the fundamental approach and key principles of REACH with its aims of ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment and enhancing competitiveness and innovation. This includes the “last resort” principle on animal testing.

This means that under UK REACH, we will recognise the validity of any animal tests on products that have already been undertaken and so avoid the need for further testing. The grandfathering of all existing GB-held EU REACH registrations into the UK system will further avoid the need to duplicate animal testing associated with re-registration

We are determined that there should be no need for any additional animal testing for a chemical that has already been registered, unless it is subject to further evaluation that shows the registration dossier is inadequate or there are still concerns about the hazards and risks of the chemical, especially to human health.

The Biocidal Products Regulation and the Plant Protection Product Regulation both contain mandatory data sharing provisions to avoid duplicative animal testing which are maintained in retained EU law and apply in Great Britain.