” Hello! Mr. Bunny Rabbit,
Will you have some tea?
Oh! No thank you. Not for me.
I’d rather have a carrot.
But I won’t have tea. “
Who haven’t heard this rhyme? Rabbits are shy and sensitive creature loved by all. Though they rest in burrows, they have acute sense of hearing. Being herbivorous, they are human’s favourite pet. But the same pet is harmed in the name of animal testing. They are caged in laboratories and made to suffer in the name of science.
A test by name “Draize” is conducted on rabbits to test chemicals used in cosmetic products from more than 70 years. In the eye version of the test, chemicals are dripped onto their eyes without pain relief and observed for any eye irritation. If no eye damage is reported, then those chemicals will be washed out from their eye and retested with different chemicals. Rabbits with damaged eye will be killed with cruelty-free tag. This is not the end of cruel act, they are also subjected to skin test where chemicals are rubbed on shaved skin of rabbit’s back and monitored for any skin reaction.
Not only rabbits, many different species such as mice, rats, frogs, fish, pigs, hamsters, farm animals, birds, cats, dogs, monkeys and chimpanzees are used for the purpose of animal testing. It is estimated that more than 100 million animals are used each year across the world. An USDA report of 2010, gives information on number of animals used in research. Amongst those animals, most of them are killed after the completion of experiment and few die during the process of testing. This merciless killing is legal in more than 80 percent of the world.
Even though we are aware of 21st century technology which provides many alternatives for animal testing, still many countries are following this cruel act. Japanese scientists have developed an artificial human cornea that could replace draize eye test. Similarly, small discs of human skin cells grown in laboratories can be used instead of rabbit’s skin. This method has been accepted and validated by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Since these alternative methods are time consuming and expensive, there are thousands of other ingredient which are safe to use in cosmetic products and does not require any testing. Many cruelty free organisations such as leapingbunny.org and crueltyfreeinternational.org have come up with an idea of providing animal friendly products to user. So, its high time to put an end to such a misery. In 2013, European Union banned animal-tested products for the cosmetics industry and recently in India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prohibited the use of draize tests using rabbits. Hope rest of the world follows the same and save the lives of animals.