MEPs historic decision to end animal tests

Strasbourg 16.09.2021 Parliament urges the EU to accelerate the transition to a research system that does not use animals.

MEPs request an EU-wide action plan with ambitious and achievable objectives as well as timelines for phasing-out the use of animals in research and testing. They see this happening by reducing, refining and replacing procedures on live animals for scientific purposes, as soon as it is scientifically possible and without lowering the level of protection for human health and the environment.

They want sufficient medium- and long-term funding to be made available to ensure the fast development, validation and introduction of alternative testing methods including through increased funding under Horizon Europe. MEPs also say that scientists, researchers and technicians must be trained in using advanced non-animal models and in sharing best practices.

Parliament recognises that previous animal testing has contributed to research and medical advances, as well as safe vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines. MEPs understand that there are cases where animal experiments are still needed to gain scientific insights for certain diseases due to the current unavailability of non-animal methods. They underline however that these testing regimes must only take place where conditions are optimised to minimise pain, distress and suffering and protect the welfare of the animals concerned.

The resolution “on plans and actions to accelerate the transition to innovation without the use of animals in research, regulatory testing and education” was adopted with 667 votes to 4.

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