UK scientists on revision of EU Animal Testing Directive

UK experts comment on the EU Parliament plenary vote, which was passed in favour of revising EU Animal Testing Directive 86/609. Comments gathered by the Science Media Centre in London.

Dr Richard Barker, Director-General of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said:

“We are grateful that the European Parliament has come down on the side of a balanced regulatory framework which will provide for high standards of animal welfare, while allowing important research into new medicines and vaccines to continue in Europe for the benefit of patients.  However we are disappointed with a number of amendments and outstanding issues in the report which would hinder research and EU competitiveness, and these need to be addressed by the Council of Ministers.”

Dr Simon Festing, Chief Executive of Understanding Animal Research, said:

“The public believes that Europe should protect medical research as well as animal welfare.  Today’s vote shows that this is also the will of the European Parliament.”

Aisling Burnand, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), said:

“Research using animals is a small but vital part of the overall effort to develop new and better treatments to benefit patients across the world.  The European Parliament has sent a clear message that this research should not be hindered, with an overwhelming majority of MEPs voting in favour of the Agriculture Committee report.  This represents significant progress towards the introduction of a revised directive that results in greater emphasis on the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals used for research purposes.  At this stage, the report’s view of research represents a balanced proposal that considers both animal welfare and research needs, however further modifications are still required.”