Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of developing a wide action plan to end the use of animals in research and testing. The European Parliament in fact supported yesterday 16 September 2021 the motion for a resolution to accelerate the transition to scientific innovation without the use of animals in research, regulatory testing and education. This can happen by reducing, refining and replacing procedures on live animals for scientific purposes with the availability of more funding to ensure the fast development, validation and introduction of alternative testing methods and the training of scientists, researchers and technicians in using advanced non-animal models and sharing best practices. The resolution was adopted by 667 votes to 4.
The EU Parliament wants the European Commission to actively work in phasing out the use of animals for all scientific purposes reducing rapidly their number with the aim of ending all animal experiments by 2030.
MEP Anja Hazekamp declared: “This action plan to phase out animal experiments is a win-win situation for humans, other animals, and the environment. The European Commission and Member States urgently need to increase their efforts to reduce, replace and end the use and misuse of animals for scientific purposes. Animal experiments are still used in many different areas of the Commission’s responsibilities, therefore a coherent approach is essential to achieve safety and sustainability, without animal testing. We need to use science. Not animals.”
Following the approval of the motion, OIPA demands the European Commission to urgently act on the request of MEPs, which is also highly supported by many European citizens, and create a Europe in which no animals are harmed in experiments.
The 72% of EU citizens agree that the EU should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out testing on animals. This is being echoed by the achievements of the recently launched European Citizens’ Initiative Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing, which has already gathered more than 119,000 signatures in less than three weeks.
In the EU, around 10 million animals, including, non-human primates, dogs, cats, birds, mice, rats, rabbits and fish are used for scientific purposes every year and often undergo very painful experiments and cruel practices with not even minimum standards that still take place within the Union. According to a Commission report up to 12 million animals were bred and killed for the purpose of animal testing in 2017 without being used in actual experiments.
Since 1986, the EU has had specific legislation on the use of animals for scientific purposes. The rules currently in place limit animal testing for research and set minimum requirements for accommodating and caring for animals. Animal testing for finished cosmetic products has been prohibited in the EU since 2004 and for cosmetic ingredients since 2009.