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Support for the European Directive on the protection of lab animals

The European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes sets high standards for researchers. The Directive, adopted on September 22, 2010, is firmly based on the principle of the Three Rs, i.e. to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals used for scientific purposes. It lays down minimum standards for housing and care, regulates the use of animals through a systematic project evaluation requiring assessment of pain, suffering distress, and lasting harm caused to the animals.

It also requires regular risk-based inspections and improves transparency through measures such as publication of non-technical project summaries and retrospective assessment. What’s more, the development, validation and implementation of alternative methods is promoted through measures such as establishment of a Union reference laboratory in Ispra (Italy) for the validation of alternative methods supported by laboratories within Member States and requiring Member States to promote alternative methods at national level.

There are, however, still voices that criticize the directive outspokenly. On March 3, 2015, the European citizens’ initiative „Stop vivisection“ submitted a proposal to the European Commission to abrogate the existing European Directive 2010/63/EU.

Together with many other research institutions, eg. EU-Life, universities and scintific organizations, the MDC urges the European Parliament and the European Commission to oppose the ‘Stop Vivisection’ Citizens’ Initiative. Repealing the Directive would represent a major step backwards both for animal welfare in the EU and for Europe’s leading role in advancing human and animal health. Read the full statement: Statement supporting Directive 2010-63 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes 4 Mar 15