London, UK 10th November 2015
191 organisations signed a statement published today by the European Animal Research Association (EARA) in support of the Directive that protects animals used in scientific purposes. This joint effort illustrates the continued need for the responsible use of animals in medical, veterinary and basic research. It is released on the deadline set by the European Commission for Member States to submit the annual animal research statistics. This is the first year that Member States have to report these figures according to the requirements specified by the European Directive 2010/63/EU – Legislation for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
The new requirements referred to in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of Article 54 of the Directive include the reporting of animals at the end of any experiment, as well as the actual severity of procedures the animal has experienced in its lifetime. This new reporting system adds to other requirements in which the Directive aims to ensure high animal welfare standards. The Directive also encourages the development of non-animal alternatives, and the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in research where possible.
Kirk Leech, Executive Director of the European Animal Research Association, said:
“This joint Statement is a strong signal from the European scientific community in support of the role of animals in biomedical research. Research using animals has led to many medical advances, which means we can now successfully treat diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Basic research also relies on animal research: some questions are too complex to be answered using cells in a petri dish.
“This Statement shows a shared commitment to the values and regulations set out in the European Directive, which helps research in Europe stay at the forefront of responsible animal research.”
With Directive 2010/63/EU being reviewed in 2017 as part of the standard European legislative process, EARA’s Statement sees a large number of public and private scientific organisations from across Europe stand together to support the Directive and its role in ensuring that Europe remains a world leader in biomedical research, where the responsible use of animals remains a small yet fundamental part.