Food companies and animal testing (2)

Oyster mushrooms. Source: Flickr/ Rosa Say

Oyster mushrooms. Source: Flickr/ Rosa Say

Last month (August 2015) I contacted 30 food and beverage companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and asked them three questions:

  • Does your company conduct or commission research that involves animals?
  • If so, what is the aim of this research, and what species of animals are used?
  • Does your company allocate any funding toward the development and validation of research methods that seek to replace the use of animals?

After sending reminders, I have now received responses from nine companies. None of these conducts or commissions animal testing. The nine companies include the following:

Australian Vintage LTD (AVG)

Bellamy’s Australia Limited (BAL)

Capilano Honey Limited (CZZ)

Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCL)

Costa Group Holdings Limited (CGC)

Freedom Foods Group Limited (FNP)

Gage Roads Brewing Co Limited (GRB)

Refresh Group Limited (RGP)

Treasury Wine Estates Limited (TWE)

Additional information can be found in this MS Excel file (19 kb).

I wish to extend a big ‘thank you’ to the nine companies for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Gippsland cow. Source: Flickr/ Andrew Sutherland

Gippsland cow. Source: Flickr/ Andrew Sutherland

The 21 companies that did not respond to my short survey may or may not conduct animal research. So I still do not know whether Australian food and beverage companies, like some of their international counterparts, conduct or commission animal research. But I did recently come across information about new research at the National Dairy Centre, sponsored by a state government.

The ABC reported last month on a new research facility: “Victorian Government opens cow ‘mootel’ at Ellinbank to enable heat stress dairy research”. The Victorian Government contributed $2.5 million to build six isolation chambers where cows will be exposed to heat stress. At the facility’s opening the media were allowed to observe the cows in their chambers, but were asked not to take photos because “the centre did not want to attract animal welfare attention”. That speaks for itself, doesn’t it.

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