Last week the European Parliament adopted a motion by 667 votes to 4, on a plan ‘to accelerate the transition to innovation without the use of animals’.
While MEPs recognised the important role that animal research still plays in the development of drugs and treatments for both humans and animals, including research into Covid-19, the vote includes a proposed action plan, with ‘reduction targets’ and timelines.
Although the vote is only advisory, EARA has voiced its grave concerns about the potential implications for the biomedical community in Europe if the European Commission acted on it. Read the full EARA statement.
EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: “At this potentially historic juncture it is important for the research sector to assess the risks to medical and scientific research in Europe, and what we can do collectively to halt this politically inspired attempt to end the use of animals in biomedical research in the EU.”
One of EARA’s main concerns is that MEPs have been misled by activist groups into believing that non-animal methods of biomedical research can be universally applied to provide the safety, efficacy and insights that are currently gained from animal models. The reality is that the usefulness of some non-animal methods is limited and do not serve as suitable alternatives for huge areas of research and development.”
In a further illustration of this, in a Twitter thread last week EARA highlighted the continued misinformation by activists who claim that animal tests were skipped during research on Covid-19 – see also fact-checking by leading news organisations.