Over 37 private and publicly funded Italian organisations, coordinated by EARA’s Italian partner Research4life, have addressed the European Commission in a letter last Friday requesting it to reassess the Italian law on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
The Italian legislative decree No. 26 of 4th March 2014 transposes to the Italian law the European Directive No. 63 of 22nd September 2010. The legislative decree 26/2014 introduced unprecedented provisions regarding to 1) the use of animals for xenotransplantation and substances of abuse research (Art. 5, part 2. letter d. and e) 2) the use of animals for training and education in universities (Art. 5, part 2. letter f), 3) breeding cats, dogs and non-human primates (Art. 10, part 5).
Article 2 of Directive 2010/63/EU indicates that stricter provisions aimed at ensuring more extensive protection of (research) animals than those contained in the Directive can be maintained if they were previously in forced before 9th November 2010.
Kirk Leech, Executive Director of the European Animal Research Association (EARA), said:
“The Italian legislative decree 26/2014 is illegitimate according to Article 2 of the European Directive. Its stricter provisions were not in force before November 2010 when the Directive was published. The European Directive 2010/63/EU is recognised as the most rigorous regulation worldwide for research using animals as exemplified in our joint statement which sees more than 200 organisations stand together to support the Directive.”
“The Italian law represents a great threat to the future of research in Italy and undermines a fundamental principle of the European Union, which is to promote a fair competition among Member States and is currently not the case for Italy under this law. The European Commission should repeal this law and call for an amendment in line with Directive 2010/63/EU. “
The Italian research community has made a written request last Friday to the European Commission to reassess the Italian legislative decree 26/2014 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.