EARA has expressed its deep concern, at the implications for public health and biomedical research, of calls by animal groups for an EU roadmap to phase out all animal research.
Last week the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) held a hearing for the petitioners of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), Save cruelty-free cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without animal testing, to present their demands.
After setting out their arguments about replacing animal testing for risk and safety assessment of hazardous ingredients used in cosmetics and other chemicals, the petitioners, from PETA and Cruelty Free Europe, moved on to a call for a roadmap to be devised, by the end of 2024, to end the use of animals in all EU biomedical research.
While no life science representatives were invited to speak at the hearing, EARA has responded with a public statement on behalf of the biomedical research sector.
EARA said that the petitioners had completely overlooked the contribution of animal testing to the rapid development of every Covid-19 vaccine: “Unfortunately, the ECI call for a phase-out plan by the end of 2024 is not based on scientific evidence, but on emotion.
“The development of new drugs and surgical techniques will be dramatically impeded without continued animal research, with basic and fundamental research potentially coming to a complete stop.
“The ECI exaggerates the current existence of viable alternatives to animal models, and by conscious omission diminishes the role of animals in scientific research.”
Further statements condemning the rush to animal research phase-out have come from the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany; a French/Dutch joint statement by AVIESAN and ZonMw; Biomedical Alliance in Europe; EU-Life and LERU; European Brain Council; German Cancer Research Center; Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain (COSCE), Dutch Transparency Agreement on Animal Research, Science Europe and Infrafrontier.