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Ethique, Réglementation

08 - 06 - 2015

Europe reiterates the importance of animal experiments

Following a request made by the citizens’ initiative “Stop vivisection”, Europe has pronounced itself in favour of animal testing for scientific purposes, on Wednesday, June 3rd. The European Commission considers that animal research is “important is important in order to protect the health of citizens and animals, and to preserve the environment.” It further commits to strengthen the implementation of the 3Rs principle (replace, reduce and refine) linked to the use of animals. 

  The European commission responds to the “stop vivisection” initiativeThe European citizens’ initiative “Stop vivisection” demanded the repeal of the Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and “to present in its place a new proposal for the directive aimed at ending animal testing”. During a hearing held on the 11th of May at the European Parliament, the arguments in favour and against animal research were put forwards. To which the European Commission answered, on Wednesday, June 3rd, that “animal testing remains important to protect the health of citizens and animals, and to preserve the environment.” Furthermore, the Commission reminds us that the “Directive 2010/63/EU is an indispensable tool at the EU level to protect the animals that are still used”.  Sixteen Nobel Laureates support animal research In an open letter, 16 Nobel Laureates stated that the removal of the Directive would represent a « major setback both for the welfare of animals in the EU and for the role of Europe as a leader promoting human and animal health. » Indeed, animal research has led to major breakthroughts regarding modern medicine and human health. The leaureates recall that “understanding the complex processes in the brain, unwinding the genetics of cancer, developing new vaccines, drugs and treatments that save and improve the quality of lives, would all be impossible without animal research. » Alternatives to animal testingEurope is committed to promote the development and the implementation of alternative methods and « actively monitor the compliance to the directive 2010/63/EU, including the 3Rs principle » which aims at reducing, refining and replacing the use of animals in research. Today, alternative methods already hold a prominent place in European research. In France, a Senate report indicates that in vitro methods account for 80% of the budget and time allocated to studies.