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MEPs call for a complete end to animal testing in EU

Photo by Waranya Mooldee on Unsplash

Members of the European Parliament have called on the EU to end testing on laboratory animals.

The use of animals for testing the safety of cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2009 but there were still 12 million animals bred and killed as test animals in 2017, mainly in scientific research, the Parliament said in a press release.

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,” the statement says.

“However, they stress 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 calls for a Europe-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.

Since 1986, the EU has had specific legislation on the use of animals for scientific purposes. The rules currently in place limit animal testing for research and set minimum requirements for accommodating and caring for animals,” the Commission said.

Animal testing for finished cosmetic products has been prohibited in the EU since 2004 and for cosmetic ingredients since 2009.”

The resolution passed by 667 votes to four.

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