Belgium carries out fourth most painful animal tests in EU
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    Belgium carries out fourth most painful animal tests in EU

    Ten years after the 2010 EU directive on animal testing, the EU has made insufficient progress in this area. Credit: Belga

    With 511,194 tests in 2017, Belgium has carried out the fourth (excluding the UK) most experiments on animals for scientific purposes, according to a recent report by the European Commission.

    Belgium ranks behind Germany (wit over 1.8 million tests), France (almost 1.8 million tests), Spain (725,833 tests) and Italy (569,177 tests), according to the latest available statistics from the member states, dating from 2017.

    Across the EU, between 9 and 10 million animals were used for scientific purposes every year between 2015 and 2017. 11% of these experiments cause acute animal suffering.

    Belgium is the fourth EU Member State to use the most painful tests on animals, again excluding the United Kingdom, which left the European Union on 31 January 2020, but is included in the data from 2015 to 2017.

    82,536 experiments in Belgium, or about 16.5% of all tests, have subjected animals to what researchers have described as “severe suffering.” Additionally, Belgian researchers carried out 1,856 tests on dogs, ranking fourth again, after France, Germany and Finland.

    Ten years after the 2010 EU directive on animal testing, the EU has made insufficient progress in this area, according to animal rights organisation Gaia, reports 7sur7.

    “An important aim of the directive is to replace laboratory animals by reducing, refining and replacing research methods. Experimental research without animals is included in the directive as an objective,” said Michel Vandenbosch, the president of Gaia, reports RTBF. “However, ten years later, it appears that few, if any, of these objectives have been achieved,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times