05 December 2016
While the use of replacement methods is desirable, the use of live animals in research remains essential to protect human and animal health and the environment. Having the right regulatory framework to enable it is crucial. To that end, in 2010, the EU adopted the EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and committed itself to reviewing its text by November 2017. Today, one day ahead of the scientific conference that the European Commission (EC) will hold as part of its response to the European Citizens Initiative “Stop Vivisection”, LERU publicly reiterates its support to the Directive and presents its contribution to its reviewing process.
On 6&7 December, the EC will hold the scientific conference on ”Non-Animal Approaches - The Way Forward”. The organisation of this conference is part of the actions that the EC announced in response to the European Citizens´ Initiative “Stop Vivisection” (ECI SV), which called for the abrogation of the EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and the banning of animal research in Europe. LERU takes this opportunity to present its views on Directive 2010/63/EU as part of the reviewing process undertaken by the EC.
LERU believes that the Directive is serving the purposes stated by the EU when adopting the Directive, mainly: strengthening legislation; improving the welfare of animals used; reducing disparities in legislation across member states; and firmly anchoring the principle of the 3Rs (to Reduce, Refine and Replace the use of animals) in EU legislation.
Although LERU recognizes that the Directive has been implemented at different rates and levels across member statesand that operational efficiency will be variable, LERU strongly supports the main aims of the Directive and believe it makes a significant contribution to the quality of science involving animals through continued progress in improving animal welfare, and encouraging the implementation of the 3Rs.
LERU contributes to the review of the Directive by assessing some of its most relevant objectives, mainly:
Adrian Deeny, Director of Biological Services at UCL and one of the leading authors of the input, states “while we recognize that the Directive is “work-in-progress”, there have been major advances as a result of implementation of the Directive in the Member States”.
Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of LERU, concludes “the Directive is fit for purpose and has set the bioscience sector on a trajectory of improved welfare for animals used in research for the future.”