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Animals used for Swiss cosmetics tests

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Animals used for Swiss cosmetics tests
10:45 CEST+02:00

The number of animals used for testing in scientific research rose last year by 7.9 percent to a total of 761,675, the Federal Veterinary Office said. A return to cosmetics testing contributed to the increase.

An additional 55,571 animals were used compared to the previous year, and while stressful experiments are estimated to have decreased by 14.1 percent, it was the first time in years that animals have been used to test cosmetics.

Two-fifths of the animals were used for industrial research in 2010, roughly a third in universities and hospitals, and a sixth for livestock production, the Office said in a statement.

Last year’s rise stems from an increased number of experiments carried out on poultry in the Canton of Lucerne, the statement said, without elaborating. Fewer lab animals come from Swiss farms, with a high number imported from abroad.

About 74 percent of the animals were rodents, such as mice, hamsters, rats or guinea pigs, while 16 percent were poultry, used for feeding trials, studies on how to keep animals and intensified production. Others include fish, rabbits, primates, domestic and farm animals and other mammals.

During 2010, 1,197 new authorizations to conduct animal testing were approved by cantonal authorities, an increase of 14 percent compared to the year before. Twelve were rejected, the statement said.

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