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ADI hits back at claims better animal protection will drive scientific research out of the EU

Research by Animal Defenders International shows that industry scare stories that improved animal protection will force scientific research abroad, are unfounded and misleading.

MEPs debating new rules to replace European Directive 86/609, which governs the laws on animal testing across the whole of Europe, have been alarmed by industry claims. The story being spread around Europe is that high animal welfare standards pushes scientific research abroad, where animal welfare standards are lower, damaging the competitiveness of European science and industry. However, trade figures show that this is not the case

A new ADI briefing shows that this argument is irrational and not backed up by data. In fact, high welfare standards in the UK appear to be correlated with a huge growth in the science, technology and pharmaceutical industries [1]

Taking the UK pharmaceutical industry as an example, competitiveness has improved over the last 20 years, since the introduction of tighter regulation of use of animals and scientific research in 1986. In 2007 the industry was ranked first in trade surplus, making it the most competitive industry in the UK [2]

Switzerland, which has the largest trade surplus in pharmaceutical products in the world, has animal protection legislation that arguably goes even further than the UK, as it controls severity of procedures with a feedback system, recognises the dignity of animals and has recently restricted the use of primates in experiments through case-law.

In contrast, an earlier report by ADI (Animal Experimentation in India) showed how unfettered experimentation in India had led to immense animal suffering, poor science, chaos and incomplete research – one science journal decided to stop publishing research from certain laboratories after reading the findings.

ADI Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, says “Contrary to driving away research, improved animal welfare regulations and strict controls over scientific experiments actually improves standards of good laboratory practice, and allows scientific development to flourish. Claims that the EU will lose out to foreign countries are just scare-mongering by those with vested interests, who are resisting all change and control. This new legislation should be seen as an opportunity to look to the future and not being confined by outdated and outmoded procedures”

We have produced comprehensive technical briefings for all MEPs on the following areas to ensure they are fully informed;

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