Replace All Animal Experiments In Europe

back to animal experiments home
primatesbackgroundmain.jpg

In 1986 the European Council adopted Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes. The Directive controls the use of laboratory animals within the EU but, now some 20 years old, it is desperately out of date and in urgent need of review.

foto02.bmp

We want to see a total end to animal experiments and support instead cutting-edge non-animal research methods. However, for as long as animal experiments continue it is vital that even the imperfect protection provided by this EU legislation is improved. Some categories of experiments, such as basic research or the use of animals in education or training, are not even covered by the legislation and consequently EU efforts to develop non-animal replacements miss out whole areas of significant animal use.
The European Commission has launched a Community Action Plan for the Protection and Welfare of Animals in which it proposes a new European Centre which could provide the infrastructure for the EU to expand and develop its world leadership role in non-animal techniques. The Action Plan explicitly states "The final aim is to replace animal experiments with methods not entailing the use of an animal."

foto31.jpg

Reference: Commission Working Document on a Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010. Strategic basis for proposed action, page 9. Brussels, 23.01.2006, SEC(2006)65. COM(2006)14 final.

monkey01.jpg

On 28th May 2008, a Europe-wide petition signed by over 150,000 citizens and calling for urgent action to advance non-animal replacements through the revised Directive, was presented to the Petitions Committee by Dr Jane Goodall. The petition was supported by animal protection groups in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
(The petition has been launched in the UK with the support of Advocates for Animals, Animal Aid, Dr Hadwen Trust, Europeans for Medical Progress, PETA (Europe) and Uncaged).

Despite promises given by Commission, written declaration (September 2007) the proposal of revised directive (05.11.2008) didn't set a ban on primate experiments, didn't set any dates/terms to stop primate experiments and didn't set requirement of using available alternatives.

What's worse in 2009, AGRI Commission wrote amendments which removed from the proposal any progressive regulations and the research industry lobbied MEPs to resist meaningful improvements for animal welfare.
in the news below:
06.03.2009 MEP author of key European Parliament opinion on animal experiments law resigns in protest at disgraceful tactics by the animal research industry
01.03.2009 MEP exposes industry threat to lab animal welfare reform
The lobby was more important than EU citizens' voice; on 05.05.2009 EU Parliament failed critical test to improve animal protection legislation.
MEPs accepted the proposal of directive what means that:
- Researchers could be allowed to cause animals suffering which is both severe and prolonged, an obscenity in a civilised society
- They will be allowed to repeatedly use the same animal in painful experiments
- They will be able to use non-human primates for just about any purpose, not simply life-threatening or debilitating diseases as the Commission proposed
- There will be no incentive to stop the capture of primates in the wild, which causes them immense distress, for breeding for research
- Researchers will in effect be allowed to determine for which experiments they need governmental permission, by deciding how to categorise the likely suffering
- They will not have to carry out retrospective assessments of experiments – whether from the animal welfare or scientific point of view – in the vast majority of cases
- There will be no strategy to bring forward the day when animal experiments no longer take place, as everyone claims they want

In January 2010 European Ombudsman launched an investigation into a report by EU Commission

primatesactionmain.jpg

Without your help animal tests will continue for the next 20-30 years only for research industry profit.

86609-banner.jpg

The revision of the European animal experiments legislation is currently in the crucial final stage, and things are not looking good for animals in laboratories across Europe.
After the Council of Ministers has adopted its Position, the Parliament, at a second reading, will be asked to vote on the proposals for a revised Directive.
Contrary to all the rhetoric from politicians, if the document became the new law it would:

* severely weaken the existing rules about researchers having to use alternatives to animals wherever possible;
* mean that individual member states will not be able to adopt stricter animal protection rules in future, as public opinion and scientific knowledge develops;
* large numbers of animal experiments will not have to undergo proper scrutiny by governments.

Replace All Animal Experiments In Europe/Actions


News

Table of Contents

12.07.2010 AGRI finished its report.

The BUAV, together with the ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) has criticised Members of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee for missing an opportunity of introducing key amendments to the future EU legislation on animal experiments. The vote on amendments destined to clarify important rules on animals used in laboratories took place today during the last Agriculture Committee before summer recess.

The revision of Directive 86/609/EEC started in November 2008 with the publication of the European Commission proposal, which included reasonable provisions in favour of more animal protection.

After 18 months of negotiations, most of the strongest proposals have been considerably weakened. Yet, the Rapporteur and other committee members insisted that the draft law was the best compromise possible and asked MEPs to avoid delaying the revision process by voting in favour of the few amendments tabled.

However, these amendments aimed at clarifying the wording of the draft legislation to ensure that common standards will be applied across the EU and to avoid differing interpretation of the rules.

The purpose of the amendments (tabled by the Green Party and MEP Brian Simpson) was to confirm that strong restrictions to the use of non-human primates will be in place, that non-animal alternative methods will be used when these are immediately available and that Member States could adopt stricter rules than the EU legislation.

Although these amendments reflect the demands of the Parliament at its First reading, the MEP members of the AGRI Committee rejected them.

This report prepared by this panel of MEPs will now be submitted to the Parliament for a final vote on the 7th September.

29.06.2010 AGRI: The draft law is the best compromise

According to BUAV members of AGRI Commission missed an opportunity to discuss key issues on the future law on the protection of animals used in laboratories at the meeting which took place on 28th June.
"Elisabeth Jegge (Rapporteur for the Parliament) qualified the compromise agreed with the Council of Ministers as balanced yet imperfect." (…)
"Only one representative of this committee raised concerns over the agreement: Jill Evans, member of the Green Party, noted that the current draft still does not restrict the use of non-human primates, does not allow researchers to use non-animal alternative methods when these are immediately available, and does not allow individual member states to go further than the future legislation. The Rapporteur did not address these issues, and recommended MEPs to avoid tabling amendments to this draft instead."
http://www.buav.org/a/2010/06/29/363
Please send emails to AGRI members:
http://againess-en.wikidot.com/replace-all-animal-experiments-in-europe-actions

22.06.2010 First animal testing proposal granted by ECHA

ECHA has given the go ahead to the first proposal for animal testing under the REACH public scrutiny system. This now means that thousands of animals will be subjected to cruel poisoning tests.

"The first chemical – a lubricant used in professional and consumer products -was published for public comments in August 2009. It was a new chemical and its composition and safety information was kept confidential. The chemical company involved will now conduct two animal toxicity tests that will use over 3,000 animals in developmental and two-generation reproductive toxicity tests.

The ECEAE’s submitted suggestions on how to avoiding animal testing, including existing data on the components that made up the substance, were rejected. However, because of confidential restrictions imposed and a lack of available information on the chemical, the ECEAE was limited in what evidence it could submit. This is totally unacceptable.

Furthermore, the ECEAE has accused the process of lacking transparency. Despite being a stakeholder, the ECEAE was excluded from the scientific discussions regarding this testing proposal.

BUAV’s Scientific Co-ordinator and ECEAE Spokesperson, Dr Katy Taylor says:

“We are disappointed by ECHA’s first decision to allow this proposal to go ahead. We believe there were sound arguments to avoid conducting these animal tests. It is unacceptable that thousands of animals will now be subjected to cruel poisoning tests.”
http://www.buav.org/a/2010/06/22/361

03.06.2010 Leading animal protection groups condemn provisional agreement on new European animal experiments law

http://www.eceae.org/press.php?p=582&more=1
The ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) Press Release:
The ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) has today strongly condemned an agreement reached by the 27 EU member states on what a new animal experiments law should look like.

Describing the document as a ‘huge missed opportunity’, the coalition highlighted these points:

• Contrary to all the rhetoric from politicians, the document, if it became the new law, would actually severely weaken the existing rules about researchers having to use alternatives to animals wherever possible

• Individual member states will not be able to adopt stricter animal protection rules in future, as public opinion and scientific knowledge develops

• The supposed upper limit on permissible suffering is so badly drafted that it is likely to be meaningless in practice.

• Large number of experiments will not have to undergo proper scrutiny by governments

• The document is completely out of step with public opinion, for example with regard to the use of primates, transparency and the reasons for which animals can be used

The process will now go back to the European Parliament. The ECEAE will be pressing MEPs to insist on their earlier amendments on key issues such as non-animal alternatives.

Chief Executive of the ECEAE, Michelle Thew states: “The truth is that under this document animals will continue to be experimented on, in large numbers, for reasons which have nothing to do with finding cures for diseases – such as the safety testing of non-essential products and curiosity-driven research. We are extremely disappointed that an opportunity to improve animal welfare and place greater restrictions on animal experimentation has so far been lost. We urge MEPs to stand by their convictions.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Carla Owen at gro.vaub|newo.alrac#gro.vaub|newo.alrac or telephone +44 (0) 207 700 4888

02.06.2010 ECHA promotes non-animal tests under REACH

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published new guidance specifically designed to help chemical manufacturers avoid animal testing while meeting the requirements of the European Union’s new chemicals testing programme, known as REACH.
"Introduced in 2007, the REACH programme (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals) requires chemical companies to provide safety data on tens of thousands of chemicals already in use in the EU. Experts estimate that anywhere between 7.5 and 50m animals could be used in new tests as a result. The first of several deadlines for submission of test data is in December this year.

The BUAV along with our partners in the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) has lobbied hard for measures to prevent animal testing and has recruited two scientific experts to advise on the testing proposals as they are submitted by companies.

This new publication follows a meeting between animal groups, including the ECEAE, and ECHA Executive Director Geert Dancet in February to discuss ways to minimise animal testing."
info:
http://www.buav.org/a/2010/06/02/351

11.05.2010 Council lies about the directive

The EU Council press release: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/agricult/114370.pdf
The council agreed on a draft directive for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes "allowing research to continue playing a key role in the fight against diseases". The decision was taken, without debate and without German delegation at a meeting of the General Affairs Council.

In its response BUAV accused MEPs of misleading the public over animal experiments law "The rhetoric just does not match the reality. There is a huge gap between the impression given by the EC of what will now happen and the actual reality for the millions of animals who will continue to suffer and die in European laboratories. We are extremely disappointed that an opportunity to improve animal welfare and place greater restrictions on animal experimentation has so far been lost. The battle will now go back to the European Parliament."
BUAV press release: http://www.buav.org/media/files/ECEAE%20Directive%20PR%2011%20May%202010%20logo.pdf
FourPaws in short states that the negative outcomes of the new law include:
• Removal of the obligation to use alternatives to animals where they are ‘reasonably and practicably available’. Downgrading the obligation to use replacement techniques significantly reduces animal protection and does little to prioritise modern, humane alternatives.
• No commitment to a targeted EU strategy to reduce and replace animal experiments over time.
• No significant restrictions on the use of non-human primates

The draft directive reflects the provisional agreement reached in an informal trialogue on 7 April 2010 with the European Parliament and is expected to be formally adopted by the Parliament in September.

28.02.2010 REACH: Guidance on how to minimise animal testing

25th February 2010

The BUAV today welcomes the production by the Health and Safety Executive of Guidance on how to minimise animal testing under REACH.

The REACH legislation came into force on 1st June 2007 and is designed to ensure the safety of thousands of chemicals in our environment. Unfortunately, animal tests are still perceived to be the standard method of testing for chemical safety and it is now estimated that 75,000 chemicals may have to undergo new animal testing under the legislation, resulting in the suffering and death of between 16-54 million animals over the next ten years.

However, REACH mandates that animal testing should only be conducted as a “last resort” and that alternative methods should be used and promoted. The BUAV believes it is vital that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the spirit of REACH is upheld and these obligations are met. With this in mind we have calling for DEFRA and the competent authority HSE, over the past few months, to produce simplified Guidance so that chemical companies are able to avoid animal testing.

The Guidance issued today details the methods by which animal testing can be avoided. For example, it encourages companies to use all available data before commissioning new animal tests as well as to use the in vitro human skin methods to test for skin irritation. It reiterates situations where testing is not necessary and where it will be acceptable to avoid animal tests. The Guidance also summarises the alternatives to animal tests that are available such as test tube systems and computer models.

Dr Katy Taylor, the BUAV’s Scientific Coordinator says; “There are plenty of scenarios by which it is really easy to avoid animal testing. As a first step, it is vital that everyone registering chemicals for REACH is aware of and use these. We are delighted that the HSE has issued this comprehensive and yet easy to read Guidance. We hope this marks the start of an acknowledgment by the authorities both in the UK and the rest of Europe that animal testing is a real issue and must be avoided.”

The ‘standard’ animal test for skin irritation is the cruel and unreliable rabbit Draize test in which the skin of a rabbit is shaved and the chemical rubbed into the skin. 752 rabbits were still used last year (2008) for this purpose in the UK alone and over 10,000 are used annually in the EU.

Guidance text

16.02.2010 The European Ombudsman Press Release

Press release no. 6/2010

16 February 2010

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has opened an investigation into how the European Commission conducted a study into the use for research purposes of non-human primates, such as chimpanzees. This follows a complaint from the European Coalition to end Animal Experiments (ECEAE), alleging that the relevant Commission working group lacked expertise in the area and that it failed to take certain evidence into account. The Ombudsman has asked the Commission for its opinion on the matter by 30 April 2010. The Ombudsman's inquiry will examine whether there has been any maladministration by the Commission.

Noting that this issue is of great interest for the general public, Mr Diamandouros said: "The Ombudsman has a vital role to play in promoting effective and transparent policy-making in the EU institutions. I expect this role to become even more important in light of the Lisbon Treaty, which strengthens the right of citizens and associations to participate in the democratic life of the Union. The Treaty also requires the Union institutions to maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative organisations and civil society."

Alleged insufficient expertise of working group

In 2007, the European Parliament urged the Commission to set up a timetable for providing alternatives to the use of non-human primates (NHP) in scientific experiments. In May 2008, the Commission asked its Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) to issue an opinion on the possibilities of replacing NHP in research. In October 2008, the Commission organised a public hearing on this issue. A number of animal protection, medical and patient safety organisations, including the ECEAE, subsequently complained to the Commission, alleging that the process had been unfair.

In May 2009, the ECEAE lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman. It alleged that the Commission working group charged with issuing the opinion on such experiments did not have sufficient expertise in the area of NHP research. The complainant also alleged that the Commission did not sufficiently take into account a substantial amount of evidence supplied by interest groups about NHP research and alternatives to it.

The Ombudsman has asked the Commission to provide information about how the experts of the working group were selected. He also wants to know the basis on which the Commission concluded that SCHER had considered all relevant contributions from third parties. The Commission has been invited to submit its opinion regarding ECEAE's allegations by 30 April 2010.

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. Any EU citizen, resident, or an enterprise or association in a Member State, can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman offers a fast, flexible and free means of solving problems with the EU administration. For more information: http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu

10.02.2010 UK: the House of Lords call for high standards and clarity on EU directive

info: http://www.buav.org/a/2010/02/12/276
The report of the Lords EU Sub-committee on the revision of the European Directive on animal experiments (Directive 86/609/EEC) was this week publicly debated at the House of Lords before adoption, with the presence of a Government representative (Minister Lord West of Spithead). The discussions on the revised Directive are still ongoing although a provisional report has been agreed at EU level last December.

The Lords report was adopted in November 2009, following the examination of stakeholder groups, including the BUAV.

At the time of publication, the BUAV gave a qualified welcome to the report as it reflected some positive provisions proposed by the European Commission, including proposals to extend the scope of the Directive to protect more animals, banning severe and prolonged suffering, restricting the use of non-human primates, encouraging data-sharing, etc.

Since the publication of the Lords recommendations, the provisional report agreed last December by the European Parliament and the Swedish Presidency (representing then the EU Member States) considerably weakened the European Commission’s proposals, including on issues not dealt with in the Lords report (for instance the compulsory use of non-animal alternatives or the capacity for Member States to adopt stricter rules).

During yesterday’s debate, the Lords pointed out the lack of clarity on the wording of the draft proposals, and the need for further guidance for interpretation of articles related to the use of non-human primates, the prohibition of severe and prolonged suffering, the possibility to maintain current standards and the frequency of inspections to name a few.

The Minister reassured the Lords that the UK standards will be maintained and that further guidance on the interpretation of the revised Directive will be given. He mentioned that the European Commission is committed to convene an expert working group to provide guidance on the interpretation of the restrictions on the use of non-human primates.

The BUAV will follow up this process of interpretation and ensure that animal interests are represented.

For further information:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldhansrd/text/100210-0008.htm

04.02.2010 investigation launched by the European Ombudsman into a report by EU Commission

info: BUAV

The ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) of which the BUAV is the UK member, has welcomed an investigation launched by the European Ombudsman into a report by the European Commission on experiments on non-human primates (NHP). This follows a complaint submitted by the ECEAE that the Commission’s report is deeply scientifically flawed and biased in favour of NHP research.

The trade and use of primates in research within the EU is one of the controversial issues that is being considered in the revision of EU Directive 86/609 on the protection of animals used in experiments. The revision has reached its final stages; the Council of Ministers will soon adopt its position.

In a letter to the ECEAE dated 28th January 2010, the European Ombudsman states that the Commission has been asked to answer the following allegations made by the ECEAE:

* The Commission failed to ensure that the working group established by SCHER to issue the opinion had sufficient expertise in the area of non-human primate (NHP) research.
* The Commission failed to ensure that SCHER took due account of evidence supplied by interest groups about the efficacy of NHP research and alternatives to it.

http://www.buav.org/media/files/press-release/ECEAE%20SCHER%20press%20release.pdf

09.12.2009 MEPs Scum

MEPs are working very hard (indeed!!) to reach agreement and have and have the proposal ready for the second reading in the first half of 2010 in the European Parliament Plenary.
The problem with MEPs is that they are not informed very well and in fact not interested in all issues (if they are interested in any issue at all) but they responsibility should be to ask advisors and be prepared for sessions.
So, because they don't know what is going on they have to rely on raports made by their colleagues. Unfortunately a Rapporteur for the Directive is Elisabeth Jeggle (german MEP) who has been strongly criticised by BUAV for misleading the public and her fellow MEPs on the animal experiments directive.
"Ms Jeggle has today implied that the new directive is simply to do with the manufacture of medicines and research into diseases of ageing, and that the aim is to use animal alternatives wherever possible. In fact:

- The compromise she is seeking to broker would allow animals – even primates – to be used for just about any purpose, not just medical research

- It would allow suffering which is both severe and long-lasting, and for animals repeatedly to be re-used

- In very many cases, researchers would be able to continue to use animals even where there are scientifically proven alternatives

Michelle Thew, BUAV chief executive commented: 'It is appalling that, not only is this so-called compromise totally out of step with public opinion, Ms Jeggle is pretending that it is a good deal for animals in laboratories. Amongst many appalling measures, her document would allow suffering which is both severe and long-lasting, and for individual animals to be re-used repeatedly. Other politicians need to wake up to what is happening. Even where people accept some animal experiments, they want them limited to serious diseases, where there really is no alternative, and for severe suffering to be banned’.

During AGRI meeting which was on 2nd December only UK MEP Jill Evans spoke for animals, for the rest of MEPs, the directive seems to be irritaiting task which they would like to see finished asap.

You can watch and hear the "constructive" speeches HERE

The only replies to the recent email action email action we are getting are from UK MEPs and a few from French MEPs, and one from Polish MEP.

30.09.2009 Act now to help animals in laboratories in EU - the draft directive is in the Council of Ministers

The process to revise the law governing vivisection across the whole of the European Union has reached another critical moment. The draft Directive - having passed through the European Parliament - is now being re-shaped by the Council of Ministers, which is made up of ministers from every Member State. It is vital that the influence of pro-vivisection industry lobbyists is countered by voices that speak out in defence of animals and for modern, cruelty-free research methods.
"The ECEAE has launched a scathing attack on MEPs following the Parliament's decision, at the First Reading on the 5th May, to vote to significantly weaken the already inadequate proposals of the European Commission (EC) to revise the 23 year old law.

The position of the Parliament has now been forwarded to the Council of Ministers for discussion and will return to the Parliament for Second Reading (unless the Council simply agree with the First Reading decision, which is unlikely). There is still a long way to go and everything to fight for.

If the Parliament's position is similar to the Council's, animals could be subjected to suffering which is both severe and prolonged, and be repeatedly used in painful experiments. Furthermore, the researchers would, in effect, be allowed to determine which experiments need governmental permission, by deciding how to categorise the level of suffering an animal is likely to experience. Researchers would also not have to carry out retrospective assessments of experiments – in the vast majority of cases - whether from the animal welfare or scientific point of view. "
more info from European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
Replace All Animal Experiments In Europe/Actions

14.09.2009 "Animal testing redundant in 20 years"

BUAV: "The 7th World Congress on Alternatives to Animal Experiments in Rome ended with the issuing of a statement from the organisers stating that due to scientific advancements in alternatives, animal testing of chemicals, cosmetics, pesticides and drugs will be “totally redundant within 20 years”.
They explain that the developments discussed at the conference, ranging from genomics (gene profiling), computational technologies and cell based tests, are sufficiently well advanced, that they could replace animals sooner than anticipated.
Prof. Herman Koëter, one of the organisers of the congress said: “These technologies, bringing together so much more knowledge of possible adverse effects of substances on biological systems than we were able to detect and understand ever before, will make us consider the use of experimental animals for such purposes as extremely old-fashioned in the foreseeable future”.

The Congress Press Release
"Milestone animal welfare achievements at the World Congress on the Use of Animals and Alternatives in the Life Sciences, Rome, Italy"
http://www.aimgroup.eu/2009/WC7/files/PressreleaseSeptember3.pdf

Meanwhile, UK animal welfare group, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), calls for "common sense" to animal tests under REACH. BUAV scientific coordinator Katy Taylor spoke at the conference that more than 8 million animals could be saved without duplicative reproductive toxicity tests.

11.09.2009 International acceptance of alternatives to cruel rabbit Draize eye test finally achieved

info: http://www.buav.org/a/2009/09/11/199
The BUAV today welcomed the publication of the OECD’s (The Organisation for Economic Cooperative Development) final guidance on how to conduct eye irritation tests without using live rabbits. If properly implemented, this move will prevent the untold suffering of thousands of rabbits throughout the world who would otherwise be forcibly restrained while potentially irritating chemicals and cosmetics were dripped into their eyes.

479 Draize eye tests took place in the UK during 2008 and around 4,000 rabbits are used in the EU annually.

The BCOP (bovine corneal opacity and permeability) test and the ICE (isolated chicken eye) use eyes from animals killed for food via slaughter houses. The BCOP test was developed in the 1940s, pioneered by alternatives experts in the 1970s and finally validated by the European Centre for Alternative Methods in 2007. It is shocking that it has taken this long for international acceptance.

The OECD is an economic alliance of 30 of the world's industrialised countries. Based in Paris, the OECD co-ordinates the development of standardised chemical testing guidelines which are then adopted by the member countries.

31.08.2009 The European Commission and the cosmetic industry match research funds to develop alternative solutions to animal testing

Today at the VII World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Rome, the European Commission and the European cosmetic industry presented their joint financial effort for research into alternative safety testing methods. On 30 July 2009, the European Commission launched a €25 million call for proposals in this field and the European cosmetic industry, represented by the European Cosmetics Association (Colipa), committed to match the funds. As a result, up to €50 million will be allocated to research projects laying the scientific foundation for future safety testing methods with a higher predictive value, and that will be faster and cheaper than animal tests.

EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik and Vice-President Günter Verheugen said: "we are proud of this first-of-its-kind cooperation between industry and the European Commission. It proves our determination to avoid the use of animals in research while increasing the safety of products for consumers. Faster, cheaper and more reliable alternative methods will both contribute to this increased safety and strengthen the competitiveness of the European industry. Pooling resources with private partners like the cosmetic industry is crucial to finance the long-term cutting-edge research required to meet these challenges".

Director-General of Colipa, Bertil Heerink said: “For over 20 years, the cosmetic industry has been committed to the elimination of the use of animals for safety testing. Our industry welcomes the opportunity to contribute funding to this initiative, which has a key role to play in the process towards full replacement of animal safety tests in the scientifically complex area of systemic toxicity”.

Why research is needed

The call for proposals focuses on "repeated dose systemic toxicity". It is about predicting the toxicity of the repeated use, over a long period of time, of substances including those that are mainly used in cosmetic products. Despite the significant progress made on non-animal test methods, there are still gaps in scientific knowledge that need to be filled in order to further reduce the use of animals in safety tests, while continuing to guarantee the safety of cosmetic products.

What the research will be about

With this call, the European Commission is seeking proposals for research projects involving a wide range of scientific partners across Europe and focusing on the following topics.

*

development of organ-simulating devices;
*

use of human-based target cells;
*

definition of new toxicological endpoints and intermediate markers
*

computational modelling techniques
*

exploitation of approaches developed in systems biology; and
*

integrated data analysis and scientific services.

It should be noted that:

*

Only proposals not involving tests on living animals are eligible for funding.
*

The results of the projects may not only benefit the cosmetic industry but also the pharmaceutical and chemical industry and other relevant sectors.

How research will be funded

Through the co-operation between the European Commission and Colipa, the projects selected can be funded up to 100% of their total eligible costs.

Background

The Commission is committed to finding alternatives methods to testing on animals. The 3Rs Principle (Replacing, Reducing and Refining animal testing) is present in several EU legislation texts such as the Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, the REACH regulation (on chemicals and their safe use) and the Cosmetics Directive. In 20 years, the financial EU contribution to research on alternative testing methods has amounted to some EUR 200 million under the EU's Framework Programme for Science and Research. The Commission's Joint Research Centre also hosts the European Centre for Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) and recently launched the website TSAR to track the development of new alternative test methods.

Colipa, the European Cosmetics Association, represents several thousand companies in the cosmetic industry in Europe. Colipa plays a leading role in the development of alternative testing methods and is already working with the European Commission and other sector organisations through the European Partnership for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EPAA).

More information:
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1262&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

30.08 - 03.09 7th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in Life Sciences

http://www.aimgroup.eu/2009/WC7/

08.08.2009 Neuroscientist Marius Maxwell sets the record straight on Parkinson’s research

info: http://www.vero.org.uk/
In an open letter to VERO, Oxford University alumnus Marius Maxwell MBBChir DPhil (MD PhD) strongly refutes the often repeated claim that the deep brain stimulation technique used to treat Parkinson's disease patients has its origins in primate research. Read his letter

07.08.2009 Guardian "The dead end of animal research"

Kathy Archibald
Despite persistent lobbying for animal testing, the evidence shows it is of little use in developing medicines for humans

In his Guardian article Of mice and medicine, Alok Jha poses the question: "If a treatment works on rodents, will it cure us?" Although he acknowledges that mice have some limitations, his response to the question is basically "yes".

This is the image that Understanding Animal ResearchUnderstanding Animal Research – cited as a source for the article – is keen to promote: that while laboratory animals are not perfect model humans, they are invaluable nonetheless. It should be noted that this organisation is not a charity, as stated, and is funded by the pharmaceutical industry to lobby exclusively for animal research.

My answer to the question "If a treatment works on rodents, will it cure us?" is "probably not, based on the weight of evidence to date". Cancer is a good example: former director of the US National Cancer Institute, Dr Richard Klausner lamented: "We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn't work in humans." Aids is another: while at least 80 vaccines work in animals, all 80 have failed in human trials. Similarly, every one of more than 150 stroke treatments successful in animals has failed in human testing. A study in the British Medical Journal (pdf) found that animal tests accurately predict human response less than 50% of the time.

What other area of science with such a poor track record would be promoted as indispensable? The truth is that animal research is a costly distraction from the real business of medical progress. Most medical breakthroughs are made in human studies, although animal research usually takes the credit. For example, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease was pioneered in humans, not monkeys, as frequently claimed.

The key to curing human disease is to study human, rather than animal biology – as highlighted for me by my experience as a patient with a pancreatic tumour. During my treatment, researchers announced that the pancreas differs so dramatically between rodents and humans that research in animals is futile: future studies must be human-based.

Leading scientists agree that the best model for human drug development is human beings. At a recent international conference, they showcased a breathtaking array of technologies to develop medicines in a human context. These state-of-the-art techniques promise to reduce the tragic toll of adverse drug reactions, which hospitalise 1 million Britons and kill more than 10,000 every year.

Safety tests on animals are still required by the government, although they have never been compared with the latest human biology-based methods. Many MPs agree that it is time they were. A cross-party group of MPs has launched the Safety of Medicines (Evaluation) Bill 2009, calling on the government to conduct that comparison. Anyone who would like to see animal tests put to the test should ask their MP to sign Early Day Motion 569: Safety of Medicines. We must move safety testing into the 21st century, for all our sakes.

23.07.2009 BUAV: European Commission finally approves in vitro methods for REACH: Cruel rabbit skin irritation test is finally replaced

Thursday, 23, Jul 2009 12:00

The BUAV has today welcomed the announcement by the European Commission of the adoption into EU regulation of an alternative to the cruel rabbit skin irritation test. This means that it is no longer permissible to use rabbits to test the irritation of chemicals, biocides and cosmetics.

The alternative is an in vitro method using skin donated from human volunteers. It is commercially available as EpiSkin, EpiDerm and SkinEthic.

Animal protection groups have been strongly pressing for the EU to finally accept the new method, which was validated by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods in April 2007. We are disappointed, however, that it has take over 2 years for a valid and commercially available method to receive regulatory approval in the EU.

Chief Executive of the BUAV, Michelle Thew states: “The BUAV welcomes this important step forward in eliminating cruel animal tests. Last year 740 rabbits were used in such skin irritation tests in the UK. We are now calling on the Home Office to immediately stop this cruel rabbit skin test from taking place in the UK.”

17.07.2009 A new petition to Replace Animal Testing in Europe

The position of the Parliament has now been forwarded to the Council of Ministers for discussion and will return to the Parliament for Second Reading (unless the Council simply agree with the First Reading decision, which is unlikely). There is still a long way to go and everything to fight for.

The petition will be presented to the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament, and the European Commission.
Sing Petition

10.06.2009 EFSA’s Scientific Committee promotes alternatives to animal testing

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1211902559504.htm
EFSA’s Scientific Committee has underlined the importance of risk assessment approaches in the area of food and feed safety which not only minimise the use of experimental animals and their suffering but also lead towards the replacement of animal testing. The published opinion reviews the state-of-the-art concerning the use of experimental animals in different areas of EFSA’s risk assessment activities, and outlines strategies which can reduce the number of animal studies needed.

The opinion stresses that animal testing should be conducted in line with guidelines endorsed by the European Commission, EU agencies or other international bodies such as the OECD. It also recommends a dialogue between EFSA and the European Commission on the best ways to address the inclusion of new, validated testing methods in existing guidelines based on the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal testing. Furthermore, it stresses the importance of good communication in this area between the different agencies dealing with chemical risk assessment.

“This opinion is a thorough review of the guiding principles on the use of animals for experimental purposes. It summarises possibilities for replacement, reduction and refinement of animal testing within the different areas of EFSA’s activities. We hope it will help EFSA in further developing a proactive approach to animal welfare in its risk assessment activities based on sound scientific principles,” said Professor Vittorio Silano, Chair of EFSA’s Scientific Committee.

Most of the risk assessments conducted by EFSA require experimental data. It is currently not possible to obtain all the necessary data and information required to ensure a high level of consumer protection without some use of animal experiments.

This opinion lists the type of internationally-recognised alternative methods to animal testing which are available for different types of studies used in risk assessment – e.g. acute toxicity, skin irritation and eye irritation testing – and says that these should be used in line with existing Community legislation[1] . For areas where alternative methods cannot provide all of the necessary information, such as reproductive and developmental toxicity, the opinion describes integrated testing and risk assessment strategies which can help to reduce the need for animal experiments.

The opinion also proposes ways to better implement animal welfare practices within EFSA’s work. The Scientific Committee notes that, in line with existing EU legislation, applicants submitting dossiers to EFSA should use accepted alternative methods to animal testing whenever possible. Moreover, the opinion emphasises the importance of fully reflecting the use of such methods in any guidelines for applicants developed by EFSA. The Scientific Committee also recommends that, when carrying out risk assessments, all existing data should be reviewed before any additional animal studies are requested.

This opinion is in line with EFSA’s commitment to continuing to improve animal welfare when conducting risk assessments. The Scientific Committee recommended that EFSA should follow up on this opinion with a review of progress in the field of alternatives to animal testing in three years’ time.

See: Existing approaches incorporating replacement, reduction and refinement of animal testing: applicability in food and feed risk assessment

Notes to Editors:

* This opinion, which is an output of the EFSA Scientific Committee’s working group on animal welfare, is among a series of initiatives taken at the national, European and international levels (by organisations including the OECD, OIE and different parts of the European Union) to promote alternatives to animal testing and improve the welfare of experimental animals.
* Most recently, a cooperation agreement on the validation of alternatives to animal testing was signed in April 2009 by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, together with equivalent bodies in the US, Canada and Japan.
* In 2005, EFSA’s Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) adopted an opinion on the welfare of experimental animals which examined the capacity of experimental animals to experience pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm. The opinion also contained recommendations on improved welfare conditions and humane killing methods.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Lucia de Luca, Press Officer or
Steve Pagani, Head of Press Office
Tel: +39 0521 036 149
Email: ue.aporue.asfe|sserP#ue.aporue.asfe|sserP

20.05.2009 UK Home Office lounched public consultation on proposed directive

curedisease.net:
"In other developments concerning the use of animals in scientific experiments, the UK Home Office has launched a public consultation on the commission's proposal to revise Directive 86/609/EEC to strengthen the regulation in this area; the consultation closes on 3 July4.
The commission published its proposal last November5. The draft directive is intended to harmonise the regulation of animal experiments across the EU, in order to create a level playing field for both researchers and industry. In March 2009, the European Parliament's agriculture committee watered down the proposals, saying that there was a need to make the draft directive "better balanced and enable medical research to go ahead"6. The European Parliament on 4 May voted in favour of the agriculture committee's revisions to the proposals7.
The UK Home Office, commenting on its consultation, said that its key priority in negotiating the revised directive was to develop practical, proportionate and enforceable legislation that made proper provision for the welfare of experimental animals, facilitated their responsible use, and could adapt to further technical progress. It added that the government would also work hard to ensure that the new directive did not undermine the success of UK and European research by developing and adopting inflexible measures which would add disproportionate or unjustified regulatory burdens.

Next steps for directive
A statement from the European Parliament notes that it has not been possible to conduct talks with the council of ministers with a view to reaching a first-reading agreement before the European elections in June. "It will therefore be up to the newly elected Parliament to confirm or amend the outgoing Parliament's position and negotiate with Member State representatives in order to conclude work on this directive," it notes."

11.05.2009 International scientific agreement on validation of alternative methods reached

On April 27, 2009, a cooperation agreement that should give new impetus to the worldwide availability of scientifically proven alternatives to animal test methods has been signed by ECVAM, part of European Commission's Joint Research Centre and hosted by the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, together with its equivalent in the US (Interagency Coordinating Committe on the Validation of Alternative Methods - ICCVAM), Japan (Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods - JaCVAM) and Canada's Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau.

The Memorandum establishing an International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM)
http://iccvam.niehs.nih.gov/docs/about_docs/ICATM-MOC.pdf
constitutes enhanced international cooperation and coordination on the scientific validation and evaluation of in-vitro toxicity testing methods. Strengthened collaboration among the signatories will ensure that alternative methods are reproducible, based on sound science and able to accurately identify health hazards.

It is expected that, as a result of the agreement, testing methods that undergo scientific validation will be more credible and more rapidly applied by the regulatory agencies.

The reinforced collaboration among the signatories will formalise the way they already work together in test method evaluation, validation studies, independent scientific peer review and recommendations from regulatory authorities. The organisations will also work together to develop harmonised recommendations on regulatory issues and develop peer-review processing mechanisms.

Press release: International scientific agreement on validation of alternatives to animal testing
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/643&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
info: http://ecvam.jrc.it/

06.05.2009 EU Parliament fails critical test to improve animal protection legislation

Greens' press release:
"More than 12 million animals are used in experiments in the EU each year. Commenting on today's vote on revising the existing 1986 EU Directive to regulate animal testing, Caroline Lucas, co-sponsor of a written declaration in 2006 (1) and Vice-President of Parliament's intergroup on animal protection, commented:

"You don't need a microscope to spot the blatant flaws in the revision to animal testing legislation that was approved by European Parliament today. We had hoped for a better report from Neil Parish, who seemed more tuned into industry concerns than his role as President of the European Parliament's animal welfare intergroup.
A majority of MEPs chose to rubber stamp his flawed report and reject critical improvements tabled by the Greens that could have secured long overdue changes to the rules.
Authorisation rules will now have a limited scope to experiments classed as 'moderate' and 'severe' in terms of distress and harm they cause to animals. The revision means that all other experiments get a carte blanche and will no longer be subject to a centrally-monitored ethical review. It takes a leap of faith to believe that the legislation is truly acting to underpin the three Rs of reduction, refinement and replacement when the vast majority of experiments will now slip the net.
Those MEPs who are claiming today's vote is a step forward for protection of great apes are neglecting to mention that Parliament also approved an amendment meaning testing on primates need not to be linked to life-threatening conditions in human beings. This opens the door to non-essential use of primates in experiments.
For the sake of both the animals and for human health, it is essential that more modern, effective non-animal tests come into use as soon as possible. Unfortunately this approved revision to the legislation, after 23 years of waiting, will do precious little to speed up the process."

Caroline Jackson MEP:
I supported the text suggested by the Agriculture Committee, which was adopted virtually unamended, by 540 votes to 66. If you were in favour of more extensive controls than MEPs wanted, I have to report that there was little support for more radical alternatives than the amendments adopted.

The main points of interest were as follows

* MEPs endorsed a ban on the use of great apes threatened with extinction except for experiments intended to conserve these species
* MEPs did not support Commission proposals restricting the use of other primates because these could penalise European research : they therefore amended the directive to enable medical research on such animals to continue, but suggested at the same time that there should be much more active promotion of alternatives to animal testing.
* MEPs rejected the idea that tests on non-human primates should be restricted to life threatening and debilitating diseases
* MEPs want the Commission to carry out feasibility studies on the consequences for research of banning the use of animals captured in the wild and relying instead on captive bred animals
* MEPs changed the pain category criteria where the Commission had wanted the same animals to be re-used only if the test entails pain classed as "up to mild". MEPs felt that applying criteria that are too strict would result in even more animals being used in tests , which would defeat the object of the exercise. They therefore ask for animals to be re-used if the test entails moderate pain
* MEPs want the Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods to be expanded
* MEPs want prior authorisation for animal tests to be limited to projects where the pain would be "moderate" or "severe" or to those carried out on primates
* MEPs do not want the directive to cover all larval forms and embryonic or foetal forms other than mammals
* MEPs stress that the adoption of the text of the directive does not prevent individual Member States from adopting stricter conditions.

The text adopted now goes into hibernation during the period of the European elections. We are awaiting the result of the first round of the Council of Ministers' discussions, which will result in the adoption of their "common position". There then has to be a second round of voting by the Parliament and the Council followed by a "conciliation committee" meeting if the two institutions still disagree. If they can then reconcile their differences the directive will be adopted by each institution in a formal third reading - and finally goes to the Member States for them to put its provisions into national law.

ECEAE:
"The Ombudsman investigates complaints of "maladministration" against EU institutions, and an ECEAE statement claimed that "it is maladministration (by the Commission) to set up an inexpert body, heavily biased to one side of the argument, and for that body then to produce an unbalanced and unscientific report, ignoring huge swathes of evidence supplied to it."

A separate RSPCA statement said the organisation feared MEPs would "cave in after pro-animal use lobbyists made exaggerated claims that tougher rules on using primates will lead to live-saving research grinding to a halt in Europe".
More news from ECEAE: http://www.eceae.org

05.05.2009

ECEAE:
Today MEPs accepted the proposal of directive what means that:
"- Researchers could be allowed to cause animals suffering which is both severe and prolonged, an obscenity in a civilised society
- They will be allowed to repeatedly use the same animal in painful experiments
- They will be able to use non-human primates for just about any purpose, not simply life-threatening or debilitating diseases as the Commission proposed
- There will be no incentive to stop the capture of primates in the wild, which causes them immense distress, for breeding for research
- Researchers will in effect be allowed to determine for which experiments they need governmental permission, by deciding how to categorise the likely suffering
- They will not have to carry out retrospective assessments of experiments – whether from the animal welfare or scientific point of view – in the vast majority of cases
- There will be no strategy to bring forward the day when animal experiments no longer take place, as everyone claims they want
Michelle Thew, chief executive of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, commented:
‘MEPs have shown themselves to be completely out of step with public opinion. A recent opinion survey by YouGov across 6 EU countries found overwhelming support to end the use of primates, cats and dogs in experiments causing suffering, and animal experiments to be allowed - if at all - only for serious human illnesses. The Parliament has produced a charter for the multibillion pound animal research industry to carry on business as usual, with scant regard either for animal welfare or public opinion.
The struggle for justice for the 12 million animals used in laboratories every year now moves to the Council of Ministers. We will not give up on them, even if many MEPs have’."

For Immediate Release: By: ECEAE European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
European ombudsman asked to investigate ‘deeply flawed and biased’ report about monkeys in research as the European Parliament considers animal experimentation law

The European Ombudsman has today been asked to investigate a complaint that a report by the European Commission into experiments on non-human primates is scientifically flawed and biased. The charge is made by the EU-wide European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), which has submitted a 26-page complaint.
The submission of this complaint coincides with the plenary vote due to take place in the EU Parliament on Tuesday 5th May concerning revision of EU Directive 86/609 that governs animal experimentation. The trade and use of primates in research within the EU is one of the controversial issues to be voted on.

In May 2008, the Commission asked one of its standing scientific committees, the Scientific Committee on Health and Scientific Risks (SCHER), to conduct an inquiry into whether primate research works and the alternatives to it. The inquiry was in part a response to a written declaration signed by no fewer than 433 MEPs in 2007 calling on The Commission to bring forward proposals to replace primate use.
In fact, the Commission’s proposals, based on SCHER’s report which strongly backed primate use and played down the role and potential of alternatives, contain nothing to phase out primate use. A further change by a key committee of the European Parliament would allow primate use for just about any purpose. The full Parliament will vote on this and other aspects of animal experiments on 5th May. The ECEAE’s main complaints are:

• Neither SCHER nor the working group it set up had the necessary expertise in primate research nor in alternative techniques. Most of the working group members were animal researchers (but not primate researchers). Only one member had (limited) expertise in alternatives to primate use. Contrary to its own procedures, the Commission refused even to disclose who was on the working group until after SCHER produced its report.

• SCHER simply assumed that primate research works without analyzing the evidence. The Commission agrees that this was a key part of its function

• SCHER ignored huge amounts of peer-reviewed evidence submitted by the ECEAE and numerous other animal protection and patient safety organisations casting serious doubt on whether primate research works. This covers such important areas as AIDS, strokes, malaria and Parkinson’s disease. For example: not one of the 85 or more candidate AIDS vaccines tested successfully on primates has worked in patients; over 1,000 potential neuroprotective stroke treatments have been tested in animal models but none of the 150 which have progressed to human trials has proved successful.

• Similarly, SCHER dealt dismissively and cursorily with the substantial amount of evidence submitted about the existing and potential application of alternatives, including neuroimaging and computer modeling.

Michelle Thew, chief executive of the ECEAE commented:

‘A recent opinion poll by YouGov in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the Czech Republic showed that 81% of people are opposed to experiments on primates causing pain or suffering. This issue is enormously important not only for animal welfare but also for human health. It is truly unforgivable that the EU should come up with such a one-sided and unscientific report, from a working group packed with inexpert animal researchers. We are asking the ombudsman to order the Commission to set up a proper scientific inquiry as a matter of urgency’

04.05.2009 Debate today

There were more than 10 speakers in parliament debate last night and only 2 MEPs spoke in favour of animals: Chatzimarkakis Jorgo from Germany and Caroline Lucas from UK.
MEPs were clear that the AGRI amendments are supposed to help scientists and to keep money from animal research in Europe.

live broadcast from Parliament:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/frd/live/live-video?eventId=20090504-1100-PLENARY_SESSION&language=en

about 10 PM but there are delays so check the info on the site

23.04.2009 Animal welfare group slams 'unfounded' industry claims

http://www.theparliament.com/policy-focus/agriculture/agriculture-article0/newsarticle/animal-welfare-group-slams-unfounded-industry-claims/

An animal welfare group has hit out at "unfounded and misleading" claims that improved animal protection will force scientific research abroad.

It comes in the wake of a debate by MEPs on Tuesday on new EU-wide rules on animal testing.

A report by UK Tory MEP Neil Parish to regulate the use of animals for scientific purposes across the EU was approved by the agriculture committee by 19 votes to 7.

In particular, MEPs endorsed a ban on the use of great apes who are threatened with extinction, except for experiments intended to conserve these species.

The report was endorsed after the committee voted on some 500 amendments. At the same time, deputies suggested measures to promote alternatives to animal testing. The report now moves onto a vote in plenary next month.

About 12 million animals are used for scientific research in the EU each year.

Scottish Nationalist MEP and committee member Alyn Smith, who backed the report, said, "This was an important and emotive vote but I think we have struck the right balance.

"I have had upwards of 2000 emails and letters on this subject, and have spent a lot of time meeting with community groups, animal welfare lobbyists, scientists and citizens.

"I am clear in my own mind that we all want to see an end to animal experimentation.The question is when and whether the alternatives available will sufficiently allow science to progress.

"To my mind, animals are, regrettably, necessary in some cases, and while I am pleased to see tougher standards brought in I am against an outright ban because I believe this would hamper science and the fight against human and animal disease.

"I am of the view that the committee got it more or less right, though we will continue to analyse the report as we reconstruct it after 500 or so amendments.

"I am quite sure this will be a contentious debate in plenary."

But Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International, hit back at claims that better animal protection will drive research out of the EU.

She said,"The story being spread is that high animal welfare standards pushes scientific research abroad where animal welfare standards are lower, damaging the competitiveness of European science and industry.

"However, trade figures show that this is not the case."

13.03.2009 Europe Poll Demands End to Lab Suffering and Secrecy

SEND THIS TEXT TO MEPs!!
from AnimalAid: http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_experiments//2094//
A major new public opinion poll conducted in six European Union countries, demonstrates massive support for a ban on primate research and the end of the secrecy that governs the twelve million experiments conducted on animals throughout the EU every year.

The poll, conducted in February and March was commissioned by a coalition of 18 animal protection organizations known as The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE). The six countries polled were France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the UK.

The results come as the European Parliament is working on a new Directive that will revise the law governing animal experiments across Europe. The findings of the ECEAE poll are strongly at odds with many of the welfare-unfriendly proposals that are currently on the table in Brussels.

Results from the opinion poll show:

* 81% of people surveyed agree or strongly agree the new law should prohibit all experiments causing pain or suffering to primates
* 79% of people agree or strongly agree the new law should prohibit all experiments on animals, which do not relate to serious or life-threatening human conditions
* 84% of people surveyed agree or strongly agree the new law should prohibit all experiments causing severe pain or suffering to any animal
* 80% of people agree or strongly agree all information about animal experiments should be publicly available, except information which is confidential and information which would identify researchers or where they work
* 73% of people disagree or strongly disagree that the new law should permit experiments causing pain or suffering to cats
* 77% of people disagree or strongly disagree that the new law should permit experiments causing pain or suffering to dogs

The next days and weeks are vital to the progress of Directive 86/609, which is currently being updated after 23 years.

Under massive pressure from pro-vivisection lobbyists, some MEPs are beginning to falter and support proposals that would seriously dilute protection for animals used in laboratory experiments. The new poll makes abundantly clear that the public will not tolerate cruelty and secrecy. It serves as a wake-up call to all of Europe’s legislators.

11.03.2009 Today: Ban on Cosmetics Tested on Animals in EU

the ban went to force today
"The 7th amendment to the Cosmetics Directive means that from 11 March 2009 it becomes illegal to:
- test cosmetic ingredients on animals anywhere in the EU, irrespective of whether there is a non-animal alternative method
available (testing on the products themselves is already banned)
- sell or import into the EU cosmetics ingredients or products where they have been animal-tested after 11 March 2009, with the exception of certain types of test which have an extended deadline until 11 March 2013"
** large numbers of cosmetic products available will still contain ingredients that have previously (before 11/03/2009) been tested on animals
**the certain types are repeated-dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics also irrespective of the availability of alternative nonanimal tests
To avoid buying cosmetics tested on animals always use info from those sites:

USA: http://www.leapingbunny.org

Europe: http://www.gocrueltyfree.org

Dr Dan Lyons reports on worrying loopholes in European ‘ban’ on animal-tested cosmetics

March 11th 2009 should mark a momentous day in the history of the anti-vivisection movement, but legal loopholes and Government indifference threaten to perpetuate the most gratuitous and extreme forms of animal cruelty. After a decades-long fight, two key Europe-wide measures to tackle animal testing are due to come into force as part of the EU’s ‘Cosmetics Directive’:

* a ban on animal testing of cosmetics ingredients (‘Cosmetics’ has a wide legal definition here and includes toiletries)
* a ban on the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals anywhere in the world for all but three test areas, regardless of the availability of alternative non-animal tests

The complete sales ban where no animal tests are allowed at all for cosmetics sold in the EU is due to kick in during 2013. It is widely believed that the bans, supposed to be enforced irrespective of the availability of validated ‘alternatives’, has provided a serious incentive for companies to invest in non-animal, advanced testing methods.

The latest annual EU figures suggest that over 5,500 animals could be saved from poisoning tests for cosmetics in the EU alone, never mind the global impact as companies stop animal testing in order to continue access to European markets. However, the European Commission acknowledges more animals could have been used if tests are already being commissioned ‘for other purposes’. This admission flags up one of the major loopholes that companies like Procter & Gamble are likely to try to exploit.

The worry is that companies will continue to use ingredients tested on animals in cosmetics by pretending the test was for another purpose such as ‘household products’ or ‘pharmaceutical’. This would be particularly easy for companies who produce different types of products in addition to cosmetics, such as household cleaners and pharmaceuticals. Indeed, in a leaked internal memo, P&G discuss how they can get round the EU law.

But it’s not just companies that are sticking two fingers up to the rule of law – meet the UK Government. An ongoing Uncaged investigation reveals that there are potentially serious weaknesses in the way the UK Government is implementing the EU law:

* They are deceiving MPs and the public, and blocking the release of animal testing information relating to products on sale in the UK.
* They require local councils’ Trading Standards Departments (TSDs) to implement the law. But TSDs aren't and can't enforce this as they don't have sufficient resources and expertise. So we have a catch 22 situation where TSDs will investigate if there is evidence of wrongdoing, but it is impossible to obtain evidence as it is deemed confidential.

OFFICIAL SECRECY

Under the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008 – the UK law which implements the EU law - cosmetics products manufacturers are obliged to collate information on animal testing in Product Information Packs (PIPs). These are to be made available to the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR), and local TSDs.

Initially, the Government gave the impression that animal testing information could be obtained by the public. On 25 May 2008, Gareth Thomas MP, Minister for State at BERR told Linda Gilroy MP:

'Anybody who is concerned that a product or its ingredients have been tested illegally on animals should speak to their local Trading Standards Department.'

Again, in October, minister Claire Ward told MPs that the PIPs:

‘… will contain information on any animal testing that has been carried out in the past. If hon. Members are contacted by constituents with concerns about such matters, they can refer them to their local trading standards department.’

After we'd pointed out to MPs that TSDs couldn't give that information, BERR Minister Gareth Thomas MP admitted:

‘Although this information ["whether certain cosmetics products have at any stage been tested on animals"] may form part of the product information packages which all cosmetic suppliers must maintain and provide to Trading Standards Officers when requested to do so, the information provided is commercially sensitive and is not to be passed on to anyone outside the enforcement service. Anyone who wishes to find out the animal testing policies of a particular company should contact the company direct.’

Information about animal testing can easily be edited to remove any genuine commercial secrets, so the Government’s decision to keep that information secret is perverse and contrary to the public interest. Moreover, as we are all well aware, Thomas' suggestion that people write to the companies is ludicrous as there is no obligation for companies to give truthful information about their animal testing, and in fact companies who test on animals go out of their way to mislead consumers. Meanwhile, our survey of TSDs reveals their confusion and inability to enforce animal testing regulations.

With best wishes

Dr Dan Lyons, Director, Uncaged
www.uncaged.co.uk and www.hurtfulessences.org

10.03.2009 AGRI prepares report for adoption in commitee on 31.03

The Industry (ITRE) and Environment (ENVI) Committees have been appointed to collaborate with the AGRI Committee. The opinion report of the ENVI Committee was voted on 18th February 2009 while the ITRE opinion report was voted on 9th March 2009.
The ENVI and ITRE Committees rejected many of the progressive proposals for advancing humane science, instead voting for measures that allow researchers ever more freedom to experiment on animals.

Neil Parish, UK (he he) MEP wrote a draft of report in which he actually deleted the rest of regulations which had any sense
Scope of the new directive:
The main differences between the proposition and the current directive are:
- The new directive will make it compulsory to carry out ethical reviews and require that experiments where animals are used be subject to authorisation; it also requires an eventual retrospective assessment. A Permanent ethical review body is created and each Member State
shall establish a national animal welfare and ethics committee,
- Specific invertebrate species and foetuses in their last trimester of development and also larvae and other animals used in basic research, education and training are now included;
- Animals may only be used in procedures where those animals have been bred specifically for use in procedure, the directive also requires that only animals of second or older generations be used, subject to transitional periods to avoid taking animals from the wild and
exhausting wild populations,
- Alternatives to testing on animals must be used when available and the number of animals used in projects be reduced to a minimum. Member States will be required to improve the breeding, accommodation and care measures and methods used in procedures so as to
eliminate or reduce to a minimum any possible pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm caused to animals. These measures are based on the three "R" principle of replacing, reducing and refining the use of animals in experiments,
- All procedures are carried out under general or local anaesthesia and all procedures are classified in function of the degree of potential pain, suffering, distress etc.

Rapporteur's position
The Draft Commission report strongly supports the development of a more animal welfare friendly approach to the issue of the use of animals in scientific experimentation. This emonstrates the commission's commitment towards the end goal of the abolition of animal experimentation.
The European Union should be working towards this goal and the European Parliament has made it clear that it believes that more should be done towards the final objective of removing animals from scientific experiments altogether.
However, whilst this remains the end goal, we are not yet in a position to end animal experimentation altogether. There remains a huge gap in the development of alternative, non animal testing methods and whilst this remains the case, it would be unwise and potentially disastrous for human health to mandate a date beyond which animal testing or testing on certain categories of animals, such as non human primates, can no longer be carried out. Public opinion polls tend to support this approach.
The Commission report therefore aims to improve animal welfare conditions within the framework of continuing to allow animal experimentation. However in many instances the wording is ambiguous and may have the opposite effect to that which the Commission is
seeking.
The Commission proposal is also not clear with regards to when animals can be used or the obligations on facilities carrying out tests. If left unaltered, the draft proposal is ambiguous enough that it may mean that it becomes virtually impossible for tests to be carried out within
the European Union. European research is already hugely competitive and whilst ensuring that we maintain and improve the already high animal welfare standards, we must also ensure that our research industry can remain globally competitive. Otherwise we risk exporting the
industry outside of the EU to areas that do not possess the same high commitment to animal welfare.
This report therefore seeks to clarify where animal testing is acceptable from a moral and scientific perspective and exactly how and under what rules tests can be carried out. Whilst it remains the goal to ultimately end testing on non human primates this can not happen until we
are in a position to ensure that research into life threatening and debilitating diseases can continue through alternative testing methods.
In addition, to minimise the amount of animal testing undertaken throughout the EU the issue of data sharing and duplication of animal tests must be addressed. This is a contentious area however the industry can not hide behind their intellectual property whilst animals needlessly
face experiments. Therefore data should be shared in order to minimise animal testing wherever possible.
This directive should be uniformly applied across the EU.

more: Parish sick ideas

06.03.2009 MEP author of key European Parliament opinion on animal experiments law resigns in protest at disgraceful tactics by the animal research industry

(ECEAE Press Release)
In an extraordinary development, the author of a key European Parliament opinion has demanded that her name be removed in protest at intense lobbying by the animal research industry to water down the European Commission's proposals to revise the animal experiments directive, Directive 86/609.

Mrs Mojca Drcar Murko, an experienced Slovenian MEP, was asked to draft the opinion by the Environment Committee. Having listened to all viewpoints, in a statement released since her resignation she says that she produced a balanced opinion. She had added stronger animal welfare and wild-life conservation amendments to the proposal without, she believes, endangering important research in any way.

Last Tuesday, 17 February, the committee rejected nearly the whole of her opinion and introduced a series of amendments drafted by the animal research industry which would drastically reduce animal protection in the new directive. For example, it would be permissible to cause suffering to animals which was both severe and prolonged; the same animal could repeatedly be re-used in invasive experiments; primates could be used for trivial purposes such as plant research and industry could still plunder primates caught from the wild as breeding stock indefinitely into the future.

According to Mrs Murko's statement, industry are lobbying intensively to be allowed to carry on with as little official "interference' as possible. They are using appalling emotional blackmail to frighten MEPs into thinking that, if they are restrained in any way, children will die. This is ludicrous and wholly unsubstantiated scaremongering – there is no suggestion that good quality research into debilitiating or life-threatening research would in any way be contrained. In fact, much animal research has nothing to do with human illnesses .but rather with testing inessential products and so forth, .

Mrs Murko says that only with legislative incentives and targets will industry be weaned off its dependence on animals and coaxed into humane methods of research. She cites an example – out of many she could have given - where animal research has proved disastrous to people (the Northwick Park, UK monoclonal antibody trial) and an example of the potential of non-animal techniques (neuroimaging of the human brain).

She writes:

"If the EU is serious about replacing animal tests with advanced technology, then[it] is vital that the animal tests be ended earlier in the programme – to be replaced by methods based upon human data, such as microdosing. Industry and regulators, and much of the academia, are resistant to change, but it remains the reality that even the primates are an inaccurate predictor of human responses".

Michelle Thew, chief executive of the BUAV and European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) commented:

"It is disgraceful that the multibillion pound animal research industry are using these tactics to hoodwink MEPs. Yet again they are speaking with forked tongue – paying lipservice to animal welfare whilst doing all in their power to put their own interests above even the most modest animal protection measures. The European public needs to know what is going on and thanks to the brave stance taken by Mrs Murko they now do".

01.03.2009 MEP exposes industry threat to lab animal welfare reform

http://www.drhadwentrust.org/news/MEP-exposes-industry-threat
Slovenian liberal MEP Mojca Drcar Murko has publicly criticised excessive lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry aimed at defeating proposals that would significantly increase protection for animals in laboratories. The proposals have been put forward as part of the revision of EU Directive 86/609 on the use of animals for scientific research and testing.

The European Commission published proposals last November that would see a ban on experiments on great apes and tighter regulation of animal experiments. Amendments had been put forward by Mrs Drcar Murko to strengthen the proposal, including through restrictions on the use of animals for certain purposes, improved transparency, and creation of new processes for monitoring animal experiments.

Mrs Drcar Murko also proposed establishment of national centres for the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments, and specific objectives including the ultimate replacement of animal procedures with humane alternative techniques..

However, when the EU Parliament’s Environment Committee recently voted on the draft, it rejected virtually all of the most progressive amendments and adopted measures that would considerably weaken what was originally proposed by the Commission. In the final vote, Mrs Drcar Murko decided not to support the Committee’s conclusions in protest and warned that industry lobbyists had had a major influence on defeating animal protection measures.

Amendments rejected at Environment Committee included those aiming to improve facilities for the development of alternative techniques at national level, and to create an EU inspectorate.

“The industry and research community were lobbying intensively against several crucial parts of the proposal,” Mrs Murko said, with the result that animal protection amendments were replaced with amendments giving researchers more freedom to use animals.

The Dr Hadwen Trust is playing a leading role in Brussels, promoting to policy makers the amendments we would like to see adopted to improve animal protection and increase efforts on non-animal alternatives. The revision of this 20 year old legislation is absolutely vital, offering a real opportunity for Europe to lead the world in progressive animal welfare coupled with a properly funded strategy for replacing animals in the laboratory.

However, this opportunity risks being wasted unless more MEPs like Mrs Murko are prepared to stand and be counted.

“Pharmaceutical industry lobbyists are working hard to undermine entirely reasonable measures,” explains Dr Hadwen Trust Policy Director, Emily McIvor, “such as restrictions on the re-use of animals and the prohibition of experiments causing severe and prolonged suffering. Shamefully, they have even sought to dilute requirements to use the most humane killing methods. Instead of putting profit before basic animal welfare provisions, this billion dollar industry should be throwing its weight behind proposals to speed up the development of more humane alternatives and actively engaging in a strategy to replace animals with more modern and reliable techniques.”

30.09.2008 EU removed animal tests issue from the official agenda

The proposal for the revision of directive 86/609/EEC was supposed to be adopted in the midle of septebtember but sudenly the item was removed from the official agenda.
BUAV, deeply disappointed that the European Commission has once again broken its promise to improve the protection of laboratory animals, has written to Commissioner Dimas expressing its concern and deep disappointment that the process has yet again been delayed. "We are calling for the Commission to confirm that the proposed revision of the Directive will be adopted and published immediately."

To send an email to Stavros Dimas use the address: ue.aporue.ce|samid.sorvats#ue.aporue.ce|samid.sorvats

30.07.2008 Court of Appeal shuts down informed public debate on animal experiments

BUAV PRESS RELEASE July 30th 2008: For immediate release
Court of Appeal shuts down informed public debate on animal experiments
The Court of Appeal has today issued a ruling giving researchers the power to choose what information they reveal to the public about animal experiments - delivering a devastating blow to reasoned debate about this controversial subject and a major step backwards in a democracy.
The BUAV, the UK’s leading anti-vivisection organisation, brought the case after it made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) for anonymised information in 5 project licences issued under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA).
The Court of Appeal, led by Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice, ruled that information about project licences does not have to be confidential to be ‘given in confidence’. This means researchers will be able to prevent the Home Office from disclosing any information about animal experiments – merely by saying the information has been ‘given in confidence’ - and prevent the courts from being able to decide if it is regulating animal experiments lawfully.
BUAV chief executive, Michelle Thew, says:
‘This highly disturbing decision takes us back to the dark days of governmental secrecy. In future, all researchers have to do is stamp everything
‘confidential’ and that will completely shut down debate and judicial scrutiny.
This is completely unacceptable in 21st century Britain, where there is widespread and justified concern about animal experiments.
The Court of Appeal did recognise, as had Mr Justice Eady in the High Court, that its decision was contrary to freedom of information principles. The
Government must now get rid of section 24, as it can easily do. If it retains it, it will just breed further suspicion that the Government and animal researchers
don’t want the public to know what goes on behind the closed doors of labs in the public’s name.’
In the Court of Appeal even the Home Office argued it was not simply up to researchers to decide what could be released about animal experiments. In court proceedings in 1998 the Home Office had conceded that blanket secrecy could not be given. Astonishingly, the Court of Appeal has decided that it can.
Earlier in the proceedings, the Information Tribunal had agreed with the BUAV that information can only be ‘given in confidence’ if it is actually confidential. The tribunal described published summaries of the licences prepared by the researchers as ‘spin’, with a noticeable absence of detail about the animal experiments themselves. Self-evidently, they cannot be relied on for fair public debate.
In the High Court, Mr Justice Eady, said:
‘There are no doubt many who would agree with BUAV’s case that “… as much as possible of the information needs to be publicly available in order to
facilitate public, Parliamentary, and ultimately judicial, scrutiny of performance by the Secretary of State of her statutory duties.’
The BUAV will be seeking House of Lords permission to bring a further appeal.
Notes to editors
1. The BUAV’s Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, is available for interview.
2. Project licences set out what can be done to lab animals, with what anticipated consequences for
them and for what purpose. They also explain what consideration has been given to using nonanimal
alternatives instead.
3. Under section 24 ASPA, ministers and government officials risk going to prison for 2 years if they
disclose information which has been ‘given in confidence’. One of the exceptions to the right to
information under FOIA is if another Act of Parliament (such as section 24) prohibits its
disclosure.
4. Under section 75 FOIA, the Government can repeal or relax statutory disclosure prohibition such
as section 24 by ministerial order. The Home Office has promised to look at section 24 again but
in truth it could have got rid of it years ago if it really wanted to promote transparency.
5. The BUAV is considering asking the House of Lords permission to bring a further appeal. The
Court of Appeal recognised in allowing the appeal to be brought to it that the case raised issues of
general importance.
6. In the High Court, Mr Justice Eady suggested that the starting point should be that information in
project licences should be publicly available (but felt constrained to find against the BUAV on the
law). The Court of Appeal recognised that section 24, on its interpretation, did not sit easily with
FOIA principles.
7. The Home Office has, very unusually, agreed not to seek costs from the BUAV, both in the High
Court and Court of Appeal
For more information contact Anna Bragga 020 7619 6963
Out of hours mobile: 07850 510 955 / Email: gro.vaub|aggarB.annA#gro.vaub|aggarB.annA

21.07.2008 Animal testing has increased for the sixth consecutive year

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection has strongly condemned the increased number of animals used in experiments in the UK. Figures released today reveal that more than 3.1 million animals were used in tests in 2007, an increase of six per cent on the previous year. The number of actual experiments also increased by six per cent, to 3.2 million.
The numbers were announced today by the Home Office in the annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2007.
Despite the fact that the UK claims to have the tightest regulation on animal testing in the world, the number of animal experiments has risen by a massive 21 per cent since the Government came to power, from 2.6 million in 1997.

BUAV PRESS RELEASE (July 21st 2008)

07.07.2008 Animal campaigners renew call to end primate testing in Europe

The BUAV has today renewed its call for an urgent ban on the use of primates in European laboratories in response to evidence of widespread cruelty in the trade in wild primates from Tanzania, uncovered and reported by the Sunday Times newspaper.
The BUAV is also renewing its call to governments such as Tanzania to protect its indigenous populations of primates and put an end to this unacceptable suffering.

Animal campaigners renew call to end primate testing in Europe following shocking evidence of animal suffering

17.06.2008 Stavros Dimas: Towards revising the animal testing legislation

"The past few months have seen intensive cooperation between various Commission services to establish an optimal balance between different objectives. This has been fruitful and we have now reached the very last stage since the proposal is being finalised."
"the objective is also to ensure that the Three Rs principle – Replacement, Reduction and Refinement – is rigorously applied throughout all animal breeding, housing and use for scientific purposes. The revision will therefore consider significantly stricter standards, including the systematic authorisation and ethical evaluation of all projects using animals, minimum requirements for housing and care of animals and frequent inspections of establishments. None of these elements exists in the present Directive."
"Together with inspections, increased transparency will help enforce compliance. The public should be informed about how animals are used in scientific procedures. Such information must be meaningful and easily available. "
"The concerns surrounding the use of non-human primates, and great apes in particular, have been thoroughly considered and need to be addressed adequately in the proposal, consolidating the situation prevailing today in the EU."
"Let me add however that given the current state of scientific knowledge, the use of a limited number of other species of non-human primates is still unavoidable for a number of vital research programmes. This is especially true of research on severe global diseases. It would therefore be premature to set a timetable with fixed deadlines to phase out all use of non-human primates. I am convinced that better results can be achieved with the long-term commitment and engagement of all involved. We have to work together on an agreed strategy to develop alternatives, and I therefore call on you to play an active role in identifying the actions needed to turn this vision into a reality."

Full text:
SPEECH/08/349

30.05.2008 Petition "Replace All Animal Experiments In Europe" signed by over 150.000 EU citizens

On May 28th, a Europe-wide petition signed by over 150,000 citizens and calling for urgent action to advance non-animal replacements through the revised Directive, was presented to the Petitions Committee by Dr Jane Goodall. The petition was supported by animal protection groups in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
info: http://www.endeuanimaltests.org

28.05.2008 Promotion of non-animal methods hindered by Brussels red tape

BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, says:
“It is simply inexcusable that Brussels bureaucracy is obstructing the rapid takeup of exciting new non-animal technologies in European laboratories. The Commission has said it will look at how to slash the red tape and listing new technologies as quickly as possible. That’s what the law requires them to do and
we are pleased that the Parliament has held the Commission to account. “We fought to ensure that protecting animals from unnecessary pain and suffering was central to the final REACH text. Despite this, REACH is still expected to result in millions of animals bring used, and we will continue to fight
to ensure the correct implementation of REACH and bring these numbers down."

promotion of non-animal methods hindered by Brussels red tape

04.03.2008 Scotland - vivisection centre of GB

http://www.advocatesforanimals.org/press/08-03-04.html:
As animal experimenters from the UK and beyond gather in Scotland for the Institute of Animal Technology 2008 congress (Aviemore, 4-6 March), animal welfare campaigners release shocking new figures showing that Scotland is the centre of Great Britain for experimenting on non-human primates. Even more disturbing is that more primates are used in experiments per head of population in Scotland than anywhere else in the EU.
A staggering 10,000 primates are still used in experiments in European laboratories each year. Around one third of these experiments are conducted in Britain – and nearly one in 10 takes place in Scotland.
Latest figures show that per capita, a disproportionately high 1,266 (30%) of the 4,204 experiments conducted on primates in GB in 2006 were undertaken in Scottish laboratories.
The majority of experiments on primates are for toxicology testing of pharmaceuticals in which the primates can be deliberately poisoned by overdose. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, liver failure and can lead to death. Other primates are subjected to deliberate brain damage which can cause seizures, vomiting and head wounds.
As moves are underway to finally end experiments on our closest living relatives across the EU, a European Commission public consultation showed overwhelming (80%) public opposition to the use of primates in experiments.
In September 2007 all seven Scottish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) signed a Written Declaration to the European Commission calling for an end to the use of all primates in scientific experiments in the EU. 393 supportive MEPs provided the required majority for the Declaration to become the official policy of the European Parliament and a clear request to the Commission to include this measure in its current review of EU law (Directive 86/609/EC).
Advocates for Animals’ Chief Executive Officer, Fiona Ogg, said: “It is shameful that the number of primates used in experiments per head of population in Scotland, is more than anywhere else in the EU. Nearly a thousand primates still suffer behind the closed doors in Scottish labs each year. Using our closest living relatives in experiments is not only morally abhorrent but is also scientifically flawed. With increasing support for an EU-wide ban on the use of primates in experiments, we would like to see Scotland leading the way with effective, ethical and humane alternatives to using all animals in experiments.”
Advocates for Animals is highlighting the irresponsibly high use of animals in experiments in Scotland, and calling for investment in the further development and promotion of alternatives that are more effective and relevant to humans.
While Scotland has just 8.4% of the total population of Great Britain, of the 2,946,624 animals used in experiments in GB in 2006, a massive 13.3% (391,500) were conducted in Scotland.
The Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) is holding its 2008 congress in MacDonald Aviemore Highland Resorts (MAHR) in Aviemore, Scotland, from 4th-6th March.
Experiments conducted in Scotland included 31 procedures on 31 cats, 1252 procedures on 886 dogs, 6151 procedures on 2625 rabbits, 2490 procedures on 211 horses and other equids, 163 procedures on 134 New World primates, 1103 procedures on 725 Old World primates.

13 February, 17.00–19.00 European Parliament, PHS 4B001

Modern – reliable – cost efficient – animal friendly – alternatives to animal experiments
In September last year, Written Declaration 40/2007 on the phasing out of primate research, passed with a significant majority. Will the revision of Directive 86/609 on experiments on animals meet the challenge of phasing out animal experiments?

Participants:
Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for the Environment
Dr Claude Reiss, molecular biologist, president Antidote Europe
Prof Dr Wolfgang Dekant, Institute of Toxicology,
Wurzburg University
Dr Johan Rönnelid, associate professor,
Unit of Clinical Immunology, Uppsala University
Professor Paul Furlong, Director of Clinical Neurophysiology,
Aston University, UK
Jens Holm, MEP, GUE/NGL
Neil Parish, MEP, EPP, President of Intergroup on Animal Welfare
Sonja van Tichelen, Director of Eurogroup for Animals

07.09.07 European Parliament sets historic target to end all experiments on primates

This week 433 MEPs signed a Written Declaration calling for urgent action to end the use of Great Apes and wild-caught monkeys in experiments, and for a timetable to be set to end all experiments on primates across Europe.

The Declaration, championed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), was adopted at the Parliament’s Strasbourg session, and now the European Commission will produce an action plan.

In an unprecedented collaboration, the move to end primate experiments has the backing of every political group, and MEPs from every country in Europe.

It sends and incredibly powerful message to the European Commission, who are currently reviewing rules for animal experiments across Europe, to act and to act now.

Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive: “This Declaration recognises that primates are our closest relatives, with chimpanzees sharing 98% of our DNA – like us, they have forms of language, culture, and live in family groups. Primates suffer terribly in laboratories and urgent action is required to end these tests. We hope that this will immediately end plans for a centralised chimpanzee laboratory in Europe and quickly halt the snatching of monkeys from the wild for European labs. Then a timetable to end these tests will finally give us a route by which to end the suffering of these intelligent creatures. This is the biggest breakthrough in our campaign since the European commitment to end cosmetics tests on animals”.

Over 10,000 primates are used in experiments in Europe every year with the UK being Europe’s largest single user followed by France and Germany. An exposé by ADI last year featured a huge new primate supply facility in Spain, importing monkeys from Mauritius; this had fuelled fears that an explosion in European primate use was on the horizon.

In order to secure the European Parliament commitment ADI had to secure the signatures of half the MEPs (393) and mobilised campaigners across Europe in an intense lobbying campaign. ADI distributed DVDs, scientific reports, and information to MEPs; supporters flooded MEPs with letters; events and meetings were staged in Strasbourg and Brussels; and importantly, the backing of heavyweights in the political groupings – Conservative, Socialist, Greens, and Liberals – was secured.

The move received widespread support, with MEPs rushing to sign before the deadline, even though the minimum number had already been achieved, resulting in a massive 433 signatures. This makes it the most supported Written Declaration on an animal protection issue ever, and the third highest number of signatures on any Declaration since 2000.

The Commission therefore has a clear mandate of the will of Parliament.

Jan Creamer: “Our team is jubilant and hugely grateful to everyone who helped. This has been a great week for primates.”

The Declaration marks just the start of a major campaign to eradicate primate experiments, but a course is now signposted. ADI will be ensuring that the route is followed.

Written Declaration 40/2007 was sponsored by:
UK MEP John Bowis, French MEP Martine Roure, Swedish MEP Jens Holm, German MEP Rebecca Harms and Slovenian MEP Mojca Drcar Murko.

The Declaration, adopted this week, urges the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to use the revision process of animal experiments Directive 86/609/EC as an opportunity to:
(a) make ending the use of apes and wild-caught monkeys in scientific experiments an urgent priority;
(b) establish a timetable for replacing the use of all primates in scientific experiments with alternatives.

30.09.07 Response to petitions on the protection of experimental animals and banning experiments on non-human primates:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/pdf/petitions_dir86_609.pdf

More info:

Information on Revision of Directive 86/609/EEC
About the action "Save primates"
European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)
http://www.endeuanimaltests.org
About Dr Hadwen Trust: http://www.drhadwentrust.org/about-us/about-us
Who was Dr Hadwen? Read here: Dr Hadwen: a man ahead of his time
Animal experiments: http://www.drhadwentrust.org/faqs
Non-animal research: http://www.drhadwentrust.org/non-animal-research/non-animal-research
http://www.safermedicines.org

Publication:
Naturewatch: "Who will listen? Animals in experiments - a review of progress over the last 10 years" Written by Jennie Rudd (March 2007)

back to animal experiments home

Photos & info:
http://www.makeanimaltestinghistory.org/
Dr Hadwen Trust: http://www.drhadwentrust.org
European Coalition to End Animal Experiments: http://www.eceae.org
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection: http://www.buav.org

O ile nie zaznaczono inaczej, treść tej strony objęta jest licencją Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.