Replacing Botox testing to reduce severe suffering

Replacing Botox testing to reduce severe suffering

Botulinum toxin (Bt) is a neurotoxin which induces muscle paralysis by blocking neurotransmitters. Bt is used for treating medical conditions (such as migraines and lazy eye), and in cosmetic procedures to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

The manufacture of Bt products is approved for medical purposes – and the use of animals in testing procedures is authorised for that reason. However, huge numbers of practitioners use them “off-label” for aesthetic treatments. “Off-label use” is known to be widespread, but it is not known what percentage is used for cosmetic versus medical applications. Indeed, there has been a documented surge in demand for Bt-based products within the cosmetic industry. In 2022, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimated over 9 million “Botox” treatments were administered, a global increase of 26.1% compared to 7 million in 2021.

As Bt is a biological product, the potency of each batch needs to be tested and assured before it can be used in humans. The standard method, an LD50 assay using mice, determines the lethal dose that kills 50% of test animals. The increasing demand of Bt products has involved large numbers of animals undergoing ‘severe’ procedures.

More than 90,000 animals used in Irish laboratories

More than 90,000 animals used in Irish laboratories

More than 90,000 animals were used for testing in Irish laboratories in 2022, according to the latest figures from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). The study comes as animal rights groups continue to call for alternative ways to test medicines. In its annual report, the HPRA said mice were the most commonly used species for tests, at 72%, while rats, pigs, and sheep were also experimented on. The total number of uses of animals in testing overall was 92,939, while some animals were tested on more than once.

Stop Animal Botox Testing Petition

Stop Animal Botox Testing Petition

The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society calls on the Irish Government to enact legislation immediately to ban the LD50 Botulinum Toxin Potency Test for cosmetic procedures. Botox is the...

Botox Press Release

Botox Press Release

One Hundred Thousand Mice Killed for Botox in Ireland in 2020 Irish Anti-Vivisection Society Freedom of Information request uncovers evidence of unnecessary suffering in severe...

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