Animal rights activists are furrowing their brows at this news. The number of mice used in one type of pharmaceutical test more than doubled between 2005 and 2008, jumping from 33,000 to 87,000 per year. The reason, according to some experts? Wrinkle-stopping drugs like Botox are increasingly popular.
Each batch of medicine requires the controversial LD50 test, which involves injecting mice with enough of a drug to kill half of them. The mice endure breathing problems, paralysis, and ultimately die from suffocation. Animal rights group, Humane Society International, says that an alternative method of testing is possible, but a spokesperson for Allergan, the maker of Botox, says otherwise. "Because of the biological nature of all botulinum toxins, and the minute amounts of product in each vial, the batches unfortunately need the LD50 test," she told the Daily Mail. "We are working hard to find a viable alternative, but we are not yet at that point."