EU : Accelerating the transition to animal-free innovation
Copyright Md Hasnat Shahriar Shanto

EU : Accelerating the transition to animal-free innovation

European Parliament overwhelmingly votes in favor of a comprehensive agreement to phase out animal testing

20 September 2021

In July 2021, we relayed the oral questions of MEPs to the European Commission for a “plan and action to accelerate the transition to innovation without the use of animals in research, regulation and education”; ; measure that we, Pro Anima, strongly supported.

September, 15, 2021, the resolution on a coordinated EU-level plan to phase-out animal experiments and to facilitate animal-free methods was adopted at the EP by an overwhelming majority : 667 in favour, 4 against and 16 abstentions.

The plan shall include milestones and targets to incentivise progress towards the replacement of the use of animals with non-animal and human-based methods.

The EP stressed that the Action Plan should not be the responsibility of a few but instead be carried out by a high-level inter-service taskforce, involving all key Commission’s Directorates-General and

EU Agencies, with the aim of working with Member States and relevant stakeholders to make change happen. The need for preferential funding and training for non-animal methods across all EU research and innovation initiatives has also been recognised.

Nearly 10 millions animals are used in invasive experiments in EU laboratories every year, including monkeys, dogs, cats, rabbits, mice and rats, a huge number of animals that has remained relatively unchanged in the last decade.

Eurogroup for Animals, Cruelty Free Europe, Humane Society International/Europe, Coalition to End Animal Experiments and PETA, representing over 100 organisations across Europe, have campaigned for the adoption of the Motion for Resolution, and are now calling on the Commission to make it a priority.

Opinion polls show that ending animal experiments is a priority for EU citizens : nearly three quarters (72%) agree that the European Commission should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out testing on animals.

This is being echoed by t he achievements of the recently launched European Citizens’ Initiative Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing, which has already collected more than 119,000 signatures in less than three weeks.

The Motion for Resolution was also supported by more than one hundred major actors from the scientific community, as well as by the European Consensus Platform on Alternatives (ECOPA), who believe an action plan can facilitate the transition to non-animal science through the definition of common priorities, allocation of funding and multidisciplinary and inter-service collaborations.

The vote is a historic moment for the animal protection movement. Finally, the European citizens’ demand to phase-out animal experiments and transition to human-relevant science has been heard. New advanced methods based on human biology are not only about protecting animals — they are also fundamental to achieving the Union’s goals of environmental protection and human health. With the Parliament’s vote today we advance on all three fronts”, commented the group of NGOs.

Read the press release by the Eurogroup for Animals.