The European Union has dropped a requirement that tissue from shellfish being tested for human consumption be injected into mice.
Animal rights activists say mice injected with shellfish toxins die after a period of convulsions and paralysis.
"Ending these excruciating tests on mice is an important first step," Poorva Joshipura, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told Sky News. "We'll continue to apply pressure on the EU to live up to its promise to eliminate cruel and unreliable animal tests when modern non-animal methods are available."
Activists say 6,000 mice were used for testing just in Britain last year.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: The stapes of a neanderthal child points to the anatomical differences with our species