The European Parliament has seized a historic opportunity to take animal suffering out of the equation and focus on modern technologies relevant to humans. The recent adoption of a resolution vote calls on the European Commission to establish an EU-wide action plan for the active elimination of the use of animals in experiments by setting milestones and goals to encourage progress in replacing animals with non-animal humans. -relevant methods.
Almost 10 million animals are used each year in invasive experiments in EU laboratories, including monkeys, dogs, cats, rabbits, rats and mice, a huge number of animals that is remained relatively unchanged over the past decade. The vote was well received by animal welfare groups; Humane Society International called the vote “a historic opportunity to take animal suffering out of the equation and focus on modern, cutting-edge research relevant to humans. “
While acknowledging initiatives at European level to reduce and refine the use of animals, the Parliament acknowledged that an active and coordinated approach to full replacement of animals has not been achieved. By demanding an EU-wide action plan with an ambitious timetable and a list of milestones, the European Parliament aims to lead to the active elimination of animals used for all scientific purposes.
Eurogroup for animals, Cruelty-free Europe, Humane Society International / Europe, the European Coalition to End Animal Testing and PETA, representing more than 100 organizations from 24 EU member states, campaigned for the adoption of the resolution. The groups are now asking the Commission to make this a priority.
Troy Seidle, Humane Society International Vice President for Research and Toxicology, says: âThis vote signals the need for a systemic change in the EU’s approach to safety science and health research, with Parliament seizing historic opportunity to remove animal suffering from the equation and focus on modern and relevant technologies for humans. If our goal is not to cure cancer in mice or prevent birth defects in rabbits, we must let go of the unfounded belief that these animals are miniature people and take the understanding and prediction of biology seriously. human in the real world. Next-generation human organ arrays, stem cell models, and computing allow us to do just that and can provide tremendous benefits in the study of uniquely human diseases and the evaluation of potential new drugs and development. chemical safety in general. Today, with this historic vote, the European Parliament calls for proactive and coherent policies to phase out animal testing, such as preferential funding for non-animal methods, training of scientists in new technologies and key regulatory changes. chemicals legislation. We call on the Commission to adopt these proposals and to recognize that an action plan to accelerate our departure from animal science is in all of our interests. “
Opinion polls show that ending animal testing is a priority for EU citizens: almost three quarters (72%) agree that the EU should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out animal testing. This is echoed in the achievements of the recently launched European citizens’ initiative Save cruelty-free cosmetics – stand up for a Europe without animal testing, which has already collected more than 120,000 signatures in less than three weeks.
Although the European Parliament’s vote is not legally binding, it now puts significant political pressure on the European Commission to respond (usually within three months) and act. HSI / Europe urges the Commission to create the action plan requested by Parliament and stands ready to help the Commission to design and implement concrete proposals.
âThe European Parliament understands that the time has come for this action plan, because of the work scientists have done to better understand the limits of animal studies and the potential of non-animal models. There is no excuse to perpetuate the current level of dependence on animal testing. Clearly, an ambitious phase-out plan, with clear milestones and achievable goals, is the next step needed to start significantly reducing the use of animals in science. ” Tilly Metz (Verts / ALE, LU) – President of the Animals in Science Working Group of the Intergroup on Animal Welfare and Conservation.
âIt is now up to the European Commission to establish this EU-wide action plan, and we hope that the Commission will make it a high-level priority – because if the Commission takes seriously its commitments to citizens of the EU, it must now engage in dialogue with all parties to effectively coordinate funding, education and milestones to accelerate the transition to non-animal science. Jytte Guteland MEP (S&D, SE) Member of Animals in Science Working Group of the Intergroup on Animal Welfare and Conservation.
“This action plan is a win-win situation for humans, other animals and the environment and it is imperative that it is led from above within the Commission – Animal testing is relevant for many different areas of the Commission’s responsibilities and a co-ordinated reduction and replacement approach is essential. Ensuring safety and sustainability without animal testing will help meet the goals of the EU’s Green Deal, led by Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “ Anja Hazekamp, ââMEP (La Gauche, NL) – President of the Animal welfare and conservation intergroup.