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Belgian laws to ban animal testing and fund alternatives

PRESS RELEASE - 17 November 2009

New Belgian laws announced to ban animal testing and fund alternatives

The Lord Dowding Fund (LDF) today welcomed announcements made in the Flemish Parliament to introduce two groundbreaking laws which would ban all commercial animal testing and give extra funding to the development of non-animal research techniques.

LDF, the research wing of Animal Defenders International (ADI), attended a press conference in the Flemish Parliament on 17 November 2009, where the proposed laws initiated by the Flemish Green Party were unveiled.

LDF believes that the two laws should be implemented together as the restrictions to animal testing would be complemented by the promotion of alternatives. The ban on the use of cosmetic testing has led the way showing that this joined up approach is very effective. Animal testing must be banned to force companies and scientists to change their research methods or develop alternatives.

LDF supports new and advanced methods of research such as cell culture, biotechnology, brain imaging and computer packages which replace the use of animals and there is growing scientific consensus that the animal model in general is not effective in predicting human reactions.

Jan Creamer, LDF Chief Executive, said: "Moving away from animal testing requires an ambitious policy from public authorities, and the initiative from the Flemish Greens delivers precisely what the public and a growing number of scientists are asking for: a rapid and efficient switch from animal-based techniques to more advanced and ethical methods."

"Belgian elected representatives should vote in favour of these exemplary laws presented by the Green Party, which will put Belgium at the forefront of ethical and scientific progress, ahead of many other European countries."

Danny Flies, Stop Dier Proeven, commented: "I salute the bravery of the Belgian Green party in proposing these two groundbreaking laws. Let this be an example for politicians all over Europe to do whatever they can to invest in modern science without the use of animals in the interest of humans and animals."

Ends

For further information, contact Amanda Gent, LDF/ADI Public Relations, Office Tel: 020 7630 3344. Email: prdesk@ad-international.org

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Lord Dowding Fund (LDF)

Founded 30 years ago, The Lord Dowding Fund is the research wing of Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). The LDF awards grants totalling �300,000 a year to fund humane research across a wide range of fields, including microsurgery, toxicology, breast and lung cancer, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, cot death, cataracts and brain damage. Named after WW1 Air Chief Marshal, Lord Dowding, a former President of the NAVS, LDF also supports new and advanced methods of research such as cell culture, biotechnology, brain imaging and computer packages which replace the use of animals in the education of school and university level students.

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