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What is Animal Testing?

“Currently, nine out of ten experimental drugs fail in clinical studies because we cannot accurately predict how they will behave in people based on laboratory and animal studies.” – Mike Leavitt (US Secretary of Health and Human Services) [1]

All animals (including humans) need to breathe, eat and drink to survive. However, every species is very different from the other.

  • chimpanzees are immune to human diseases such as HIV, malaria and hepatitis
  • paracetamol (such as “Panadol”) is toxic to cats
  • penicillin is toxic to rodents
  • aspirin causes birth defects in most species but not humans

So why do we still test on animals?

  • animal testing has become a habit,
  • some scientists are afraid to speak out against animal testing as it could damage their reputation and their career prospects,
  • the majority of consumers are supporting animal tested products.
  • in China and some other countries, animal testing is required by law (resulting in companies such as Avon, who were pioneers in using animal-friendly testing methods but later accepted to sell in these countries, being removed from cruelty-free lists).

Animal testing is a term referring to experiments involving non-human animals. One conducts animal testing inside a lab and for research purposes.

Animal experimentation, animal testing, in vivo testing or vivisection all refer to the same term. However, they are used for different purposes. The word “vivisection” comes from Latin vivus, meaning “alive”, and sectio, meaning “cutting”. Therefore it refers to the act of cutting a living organism, typically an animal into pieces. Individuals who oppose animal testing as this word implies negative actions such as torture and death, generally use this term. While scientists like to use the term “animal experimentation”.

There are two forms of animal research; one is pure observation where one studies the behaviour of an animal species such as field studies and a mouse running in a maze. Another form of animal research is applied research such as cosmetics’ toxicology tests. Our aim is to put a stop mainly to the applied animal research.

Even though most scientists got stuck with applied animal testing, this doesn’t mean that there is no alternative to this form of research. Since the 1920s scientists have been developing and using faster, cheaper, ethical and more accurate forms of testing such as replicating cells, tissues or even virtual organs without having to injure or kill any animal.

What is is aimed to anyone who wants to start living cruelty-free. It is the only Maltese cruelty-free resource that gathers most of the brands that are not supporting animal testing and are available in Malta.

Before listing a brand on the cruelty-free brand list for Malta and Gozo, I research to verify whether the brand is really cruelty-free. I don’t base this verification only on the brand’s official confirmation but also I also use other reliable sources such as animal welfare organisations websites. In the case where there is a contradiction, I refuse from listing the brand on the cruelty-free list.

Hence when buying from brands listed on my cruelty-free brand list, one can clear his or her conscience from any doubts on whether the products are tested on animals or not.

Cruelty-Free Lists and Shopping Guides

Vegan Shopping Guide

If the brand you are looking for is not available in the above list, check the list of brands that still test on animals.