16 September 2021
The IAVS warmly welcomes last night’s (15 September) European Parliament vote directing the European Commission to implement an Action Plan for the reduction and elimination of animal experiments. This has the potential to be a historic juncture in the battle to save around 10 million animals a year from pain and suffering in EU laboratories.
We are pleased that the European Parliament has taken the initiative to force this issue. For too long, the Irish Government, other Member States and the Commission have been oblivious to the catastrophic animal welfare impact and scientific weaknesses of animal experiments. They have treated public concern with contempt while turning a blind eye to outdated and horrific practices in some areas of biomedical research and testing. Despite government rhetoric about reducing animal testing, the animal death toll has remained stubbornly high. But by developing an Action Plan with targets for progress, this vote could well be a game-changer.
We urge the Commission, Ireland and other Member State Governments to enthusiastically support this epochal project that could deliver salvation for millions of animals as well as better, more human-relevant toxicity testing and medical research. Furthermore, just as with the technological transitions emerging to stop the emission of greenhouse gases, there are major economic benefits awaiting countries that pioneer the development of replacement methods for crude animal research methods.