The European Animal Research Association (EARA) has published, on behalf of the leading biomedical research organisations, knowledge societies, industry representatives, universities and patient groups in Europe, a statement in support of the European Directive 2010/63/EU.
The declaration has been signed by 255 organisations and is translated into English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish.
Declaration of support for the European Directive 2010/63 / EU (“Directive”) concerning the protection of animals used for scientific purposes
Research with animals has made great discoveries in medicine that have transformed the health of humans and animals. We support animal research when there is no viable alternative method, when the potential health benefits are overwhelming and when acceptable ethical and welfare levels are applied.
The European Directive 2010/63 / EU has increased the welfare levels of experimental animals and introduced the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement (3R) throughout the EU while pursuing the role of Europe as a leader in biomedical research.
According to the Directive, animals can be used for research when the potential medical, veterinary and scientific benefits are overwhelming and there is no viable alternative method.
For animal research to be ethically and scientifically rigorous and authorised in accordance with the Directive, it must meet high standards of animal welfare and must integrate the 3Rs.
The 3Rs are:
Replacement - methods that prevent or replace the use of animals;
Reduction - methods that minimise the number of animals used in each experiment;
Refinement - methods that minimise suffering and improve animal welfare.
The development of alternative methods to the use of animals in research, such as the use of human cell models and computer modelling, continues to advance and scientists must strive to promote these methods. However, alternative methods still cannot completely replace the use of animals. In many diseases, for instance some as complex as cancer, heart disease and diabetes - which affect many organs - we must understand how the whole organism interacts, which means that experimentation with animals remains fundamental.
Research with animals has allowed great advances in the knowledge of biology and has contributed to the development of almost all types of treatments currently used in medicine and veterinary medicine. Animal research continues to be necessary to understand the health and development of diseases in humans and animals, and to promote and improve treatments for the benefit of patients worldwide.