On 3 June, the Commission replied to the “Stop Vivisection” European Citizens’ Initiative, and decided not to abrogate Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes as requested by the Initiative (see the Press Release). The decision was taken after a public hearing held on the Initiative hosted by the European Parliament on 11 May. In a Communication published on the same day, the Commission explains in 10 pages the reasons for its decision.
Quote from the Communication:
“The Commission is of the opinion that animal experimentation does not pose an obstacle to developing alternative research tools. The use of animals in research actually provides a mechanistic understanding of the biology of animals and humans, which enables the development of more ethical, cost-effective, predictive and faster alternative methods. The Commission recognises the limitations of both animal models and alternatives, and constantly follows up and supports new developments for improved predictive methods. Today, the development processes for new medicines, basic research and predictive safety testing of substances no longer rely exclusively on animal models. In all areas, a weight of evidence approach is followed that takes into account existing knowledge, resulting from alternatives, animal tests and human exposures together. Most relevant pieces of EU legislation in the field of testing make the use of reliable alternatives mandatory once they have been validated.” (p. 7)