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European scientific community welcomes EU review of the Directive for the protection of animals used

The European scientific community supports the view of the EU Commission, that the Directive on the protection of animals used in biomedical research is bringing significant benefits in animal welfare and a sound foundation for future best practice in the sector.

The European Animal Research Association (EARA), which represents more than 60 organisations across Europe in the biomedical research sector, has welcomed the Commission report, published today. The report reviews the requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU – all uses of live animals for research or education and testing must be carried out in compliance with the Directive.

In particular, the EU recognised that measures to improve transparency to the general public on the performance of research establishments in the areas of animal use and welfare are starting to have an effect. Requirements to publish non-technical summaries of the objectives and benefits of research projects, as well as annual statistical data, are also seen to have greatly improved openness in Member States.

EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: “The EARA membership has made great strides to improve openness and transparency, and we are happy to see our work discussed positively in the report.  The association intends to go even further to bring about significant cultural change in the sector, in order to improve the public’s understanding of the medical advances being made thanks to animal research.”

“It’s good to see that the review recognises the great improvements in animal welfare in Europe. The sector is also determined to increase its efforts for harmonisation of standards and the implementation of the Three Rs (Replace, Reduce, Refine) which will mean Europe has the world’s strictest framework to protect research animals,” he added.

Another significant outcome of the review is that the EU has recognised the continued importance of non-human primates for animal research.

EARA agrees with the conclusion of the report that the Directive is relevant and necessary and that, at this stage, there is no need for any amendments.


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