Thursday, 8 October 2009


The South East’s Green Euro-MP launched a new campaign in the European Parliament today to urge EU lawmakers to replace the use of animals in testing and research with non-animal alternatives.

Caroline Lucas MEP, who was recently named the new President of the European Parliament’s influential cross-party Animal Welfare Intergroup, has joined with fellow MEPs to sign a Written Declaration calling for increased funding for the development of alternative methods to animal testing – and a 1% ‘research levy’ on products that contain ingredients tested on animals.

The Written Declaration (1), like an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, will become the official position of the European Parliament if it can attract the support of at least half of all MEPs.

Dr Lucas MEP said: “Since 2007, I have been working with MEP colleagues and animal protection groups across Europe on a campaign urging the EU to replace cruel, unnecessary and misleading animal experiments. The existing law on the use of animals in experiments is over 20 years old, so action on this is long overdue.

“The European Commission has already stated that one of its ultimate aims is ‘to replace animal experiments with methods not entailing the use of an animal’ (2). It must now increase funding for the development and validation of alternative research methods – and make the administrative processes more efficient.

“We propose that the Commission now assesses options for increasing the funds available, including the introduction of a ‘research levy’ of 1% of the selling price of products that contain ingredients tested on animals.”

She continued: "More than 12 million animals are used in EU labs each year, yet experiments on animals can be unreliable as a guide to human biology and the range of viable alternatives, such as epidemiology, the use of cell cultures, human tissue and computer simulation, is increasing all the time.

"The Commission should increase funding, introduce quantitative targets for reducing the number of animals used in experiments, and bring in compulsory inspections of testing facilities in order to dramatically improve standards of animal protection.”

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