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Mixed picture on unannounced inspections in EU countries

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

A report in Research Professional News (RPN) has highlighted that some EU Member States (Czechia, Cyprus, Malta, Poland and Portugal) failed to carry out any unannounced inspections of animal research establishments between 2013-2017. Under EU law, one-third of animal research establishments should be inspected per year and ‘an appropriate portion’ of inspections should be unannounced. Hungary was also found to have inspected fewer than the required user establishments in each of those years. However the data, which appears in the recently released EU statistics on animal use, shows that most member states have no such problems. On average in 2017, 40 per cent of inspections carried out across the EU were performed with no prior warning.

In a follow-up article in RPN, EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said he hoped all EU countries would hit the required targets in future.

He added: ““The European biomedical sector is in full support of the objectives of EU Directive 2010/63 and it is good to see that overall the target for the number of unannounced inspections was achieved every year.

“Quite correctly, the EU Commission has set a high bar for Member States to meet the levels of openness and transparency of animal research required, however, through no fault of the biomedical sector, the inconsistency and speed of implementation of the Directive in general has been a problem in some Member States.”


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