Protection of research animals
ABOUT THE ISSUE
The 12.1 million animals used annually are used for a variety of purposes including safety testing of different substances - medicines, cosmetics, household products and chemicals - and for medical research into human diseases and conditions. Not only testing but also the way the animals are kept from birth, before and during the procedures and housing conditions can cause considerable stress and suffering.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION
Directive 2010/63/EU entered into force on 9 November 2011. Aided by the work of Eurogroup it now includes a stronger focus on alternative methods, stricter authorisation, inspections and specific protection for non-human primates. Member States must translate EU rules into national rules by 10 November 2012 and are actively working on the implementation. The Commission is aiding them through development of guidance documents and workshops related to severity classification and statistical reporting.
WHAT ARE WE CALLING FOR
- Member States to apply the Directive correctly, to reduce the numbers of animals used and levels of suffering.
- The ultimate goal should be to replace all animal experiments with alternative methods.
- EU institutions and Member States must show a commitment to the development and validation of alternative methods.
- Animals to be recognised as sentient beings instead of objects for research.
- All animal experiments must be subject to a strict, transparent control and inspection.
- Directive 2010/63 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (applies from January 2013)
- Directive 86/609 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes (applies until 1 January 2013)