DECLARATION ON A TRANSITION TO NON-ANIMAL SCIENCE
CONSIDERATIONS

1. The EU has the goal of fully replacing the use of animals in science*. Nevertheless the European Commission’s (EC) response to the ECI ‘Stop vivisection’ in 2015 was that there were no conditions to implement a ban on animal experimentation. However, the EC’s conference following the ECI “recognised the opportunity, and need, for a paradigm shift in the way science is performed, moving away from entrenched dogma and ways of thinking.” It also became clear that “the EC is keen to implement science-based policy, including animal-free science that is responsive to citizens’ demands”, and that there is “potential in considering deadlines to phase out animal testing in specific areas, where possible”. However, numbers of animals used are still increasing and no systematic progress at EU level is being made.

2. Directive 2010/63 Art. 2 limits Member States (MS) in adopting higher standards, provisions or protections when using animals for scientific purposes. In order to reduce disparities between MS, the Directive reserves the right of progressing standards, provisions and protection to the EC, in consultation with the MS.

3. The EC has invested in research into non-animal science in its Framework Programmes, but it is still far from being a main priority. At the same time the EC also invests in animal research, thus weakening a transition towards humane and relevant human-based science.

4. Published scientific reviews about the impact of animal experiments have shown an extremely high failure rate when trying to translate animal research results to humans.

5. From basic to applied research and regulatory testing, many scientists have been and are putting forward strategies that describe how combinations of human-relevant methods can provide necessary data for the development and testing of new therapies. Scientists indicate however they need more support to continue their research.

6. More than 200,000 animals are used each year in the EU for the primary purpose of education and training. Three major challenges in the adoption of an animal-free educational model are (I) lack of knowledge of or trust in existing animal-free teaching and training methods; (II) slow adaptation and development of technology to new training needs (e.g. new therapy); and (III) different mindsets in education and training of (veterinary) healthcare professionals and life scientists.


*In Directive 2010/63/EU, recital (10): “[T]his Directive represents an important step towards achieving the final goal of full replacement of procedures on live animals for scientific and educational purposes as soon as it is scientifically possible to do so.”

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FOLLOWING THE ABOVE CONSIDERATIONS, THE INTERGROUP FOR THE WELFARE AND CONSERVATION OF ANIMALS IS CALLING ON THE EC TO:

a) Ensure an increased support for non-animal methodologies within the next EU framework research programme, Horizon Europe by fully assuming its political responsibility for the investment and shift to non-animal alternatives. Many alternatives already exist, and further innovation and development needs to be incentivised. Therefore, the EU framework programmes should guarantee the continuous and strategic investment in and support of a shift towards non-animal science.

b) Based on the EC’s first reports on the use of animals for scientific purposes under the Directive 2010/63/EU, the scientific knowledge gathered by EURL ECVAM and other relevant scientific bodies and experts, establish a concrete strategy with targets to phase out the use of animals in specific areas of research, education, and testing. This strategy should be established in close dialogue with MS, the scientific community, and non-governmental organisations for the protection of human and animal health and the environment and for the promotion of alternatives to the use of animals.

c) Draw up a roadmap, in collaboration with MS, to end the invasive use of animals for the primary purpose of education and training of human and veterinary healthcare professionals and life scientists in the EU.

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MEPs WHO ALREADY SIGNED (last updated: 10 Jan 2020)

Isabella Adinolfi (NA, IT)
Scott Ainslie (Greens/EFA, UK)
François Alfonsi (Greens/EFA, FR)
Petras Auštrevičius (Renew, LT)
Aurélia Beigneux (ID, FR)
Robert Biedroń (S&D, PL)
Manuel Bompard (GUE/NGL, FR)
Annika Bruna (ID, FR)
Klaus Buchner (Greens/EFA, DE)
Martin Buschmann (GUE/NGL, DE)
Isabel Carvalhais (S&D, PT)
Ellie Chowns (Greens/EFA, UK)
David Cormand (Greens/EFA, FR)
Katalin Cseh (Renew, HU)
Rosa D'Amato (NA, IT)
Miriam Dalli (S&D, MT)
Clare Daly (GUE/NGL, IE)
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens/EFA, FR)
Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA, BE)
Gina Dowding (Greens/EFA, UK)
Pascal Durand (Renew, FR)
Eleonora Evi (NA, IT)
Tanja Fajon (S&D, SL)
Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK)
James Glancy (NA, UK)
Catherine Griset (ID, FR)
Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/EFA, PT)
Jytte Guteland (S&D, SE)
Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, NL)
Pär Holmgren (Greens/EFA, SE)
Martin Horwood (Renew, UK)
Yannick Jadot (Greens/EFA, FR)
Virginie Joron (ID, FR)
Marina Kaljurand (S&D, EE)
Łukasz Kohut (S&D, PL)
Elżbieta Kruk (ECR, PL)
Athanasios Konstantinou (NA, GR)
Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA, LU)
Leszek Miller (S&D, PL)
Maria Noichl (S&D, DE)
Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL, FR)
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL, GR)
Anne-Sophie Pelletier (GUE/NGL, FR)
Michele Rivasi (Greens/EFA, FR)
Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA, DE)
Alexandra Louise Rosenfield Phillips (Greens/EFA, UK)
Piernicola Pedicini (NA, IT)
Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, FI)
Emil Radev (EPP, BG)
Frederique Ries (Renew, FR)
Caroline Roose (Greens/EFA, FR)
Catherine Rowett (Greens/EFA, UK)
Petra Sarvamaa (EPP, FI)
Gunther Sidl (S&D, AT)
Ivan Štefanec (EPP, SK)
Sylwia Spurek (S&D, PL)
Marie Toussaint (Greens/EFA, FR)
Ernest Urtasun (Greens/EFA, ES)
Henna Virkkunen (EPP, FI)
Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR, PL)
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