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Chance to change history

Chance to change history as European rules governing animals in experiments are revised after more than twenty years

European legislators have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to influence experimentation across the European Union where 12 million animals die in experiments each year. The long awaited revision of EC Directive 86/609 goes before a European Parliament Committee in Brussels next week.

Following an Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaign across Europe, there is considerable momentum for strong measures to end experiments on primates.
In September 2007, the European Parliament adopted a Declaration co-originated by ADI calling for bans on the use of wild-caught primates and great apes, along with a timetable for phasing out the use of all primates in experiments. 55% of MEPs signed the Declaration, making it the most supported Declaration on an animal protection matter ever.

The Commission response in the revision has been hailed as partial victory with a ban on the use of apes, wild caught primates, and a phase out of monkeys from wild caught parents. Campaigners will be calling for the timetable requested by MEPs and for loopholes in the current proposals to be closed.

Other areas on the agenda will include:

  • Household product testing
  • Experiments in higher education
  • Use of stray cats and dogs
  • Increased protection for invertebrates
  • Duplication of experiments

ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer says “This is a unique opportunity to make real progress in the process of eliminating animal experiments and protecting animal welfare. For the sake of animals and science it is vital that the moment is seized.”

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