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Suntory and Asahi stop animal testing

Japanese spirits producers Suntory and Asahi have agreed to ban all experiments on animals unless required by law following discussions with Peta, the animal rights organisation has claimed.

Suntory Holdings “will no longer fund, conduct, or commission new projects that use animal testing to establish health claims.”

Sapporo, the oldest beer brand in Japan, has also informed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) of its decision to stop funding, conducting and commissioning animal testing studies.

Peta claims that it contacted Asahi Group, maker of Nikka whisky, to object to 11 studies funded by the firm since 2015 in which mice and rats were starved then force-fed alcohol or ingredients used in Asahi’s drinks before being killed and dissected.

Suntory Holdings, the parent company of Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam producer Beam Suntory, funded five experiments since 2015 that saw mice forced to swim, jump from hot plates and run on treadmills while being electrocuted, according to Peta.

A spokesperson for Suntory confirmed the group had engaged in “conversations” with Peta, but did not comment further. The Spirits Business has approached Asahi and Sapporo for comment.

“These major drinks companies did the right thing in ditching cruel and wasteful animal experiments,” said Peta vice president Shalin Gala.

“Peta is calling on other industry leaders to join this growing trend and switch to modern, non-animal research methods that provide human-relevant results and don’t cause animals to suffer.”

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