The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, and it is right for us to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar now we have left the EU.
EU REACH regulations have been brought into UK law following our exit from the EU. The UK continues to seek high standards of protection for the environment and human health in the UK REACH regime. Ministers have stated their determination that there should be no need for any additional animal testing for a chemical that has already been registered to EU REACH, and the Government will recognise the validity of any animal testing that has already been undertaken, avoiding the need for further testing.
I am pleased that the UK has been at the forefront of opposing animal tests where alternative approaches could be used. This is known as the last-resort principle, which will be retained and enshrined in legislation through the Environment Bill. Given that the Bill already enshrines this principle, and includes safeguards to protect the fundamental principles of REACH, I do not believe it is necessary to amend the Bill to set targets at this time.
Nonetheless, I will continue to monitor our progress in developing alternatives to animal testing following the implementation of UK REACH.