- Millions of animals, including mice, rats, rabbits, guinea
pigs and dogs, will be force-fed or injected with suspect chemicals under
the largest- ever laboratory testing programme proposed by the European
The upsurge in animal experiments follows European Parliament approval
for an investigation into the potential dangers of 30,000 chemicals used
in everyday household products from paint to perfume. According to a secret
government document leaked to The Independent on Sunday, at least 12 million
mammals and fish will test the 30,000 chemicals. The figure could rise
to 50 million if scientists decide that the animals' offspring must be
The bulk of the work is expected to go to the UK, including Huntingdon
Life Sciences, target of terror attacks by animal rights extremists.
The document, prepared by the Institute for Environment and Health at Leicester
University, was ordered by the Department of the Environment and is marked
"not for general circulation".
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection described the proposal
as "the biggest mass animal poisoning programme in history".
The RSPCA accused the Government of gross hypocrisy.
The chemicals are found in products such as detergents, paints and varnishes,
furniture, carpets, toys, clothes, textiles, cosmetics, medicines, pesticides,
building materials, computers, TVs and food packaging. Environmentalists
believe they have contributed to increased incidences of cancer, birth
defects, allergies, asthma and skin disorders.