Tuesday 5 May 2009

European animal welfare groups launch scathing attack on MEPs

A coalition of animal welfare groups (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) across Europe has launched a scathing attack on MEPs following their decision in Strasbourg today on the revision of the animal experiments directive.

The Parliament has significantly weakened the already inadequate proposals of the European Commission to revise the 23 year old law. If the Parliament gets its way:

- Researchers could be allowed to cause animals suffering which is both severe and prolonged, an obscenity in a civilised society

- They will be allowed to repeatedly use the same animal in painful experiments

- They will be able to use non-human primates for just about any purpose, not simply life-threatening or debilitating diseases as the Commission proposed

- There will be no incentive to stop the capture of primates in the wild, which causes them immense distress, for breeding for research

- Researchers will in effect be allowed to determine for which experiments they need governmental permission, by deciding how to categorise the likely suffering

- They will not have to carry out retrospective assessments of experiments – whether from the animal welfare or scientific point of view – in the vast majority of cases

- There will be no strategy to bring forward the day when animal experiments no longer take place, as everyone claims they want

Michelle Thew, chief executive of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, commented:

‘MEPs have shown themselves to be completely out of step with public opinion. A recent opinion survey by YouGov across 6 EU countries found overwhelming support to end the use of primates, cats and dogs in experiments causing suffering, and animal experiments to be allowed - if at all - only for serious human illnesses. The Parliament has produced a charter for the multibillion pound animal research industry to carry on business as usual, with scant regard either for animal welfare or public opinion.

The struggle for justice for the 12 million animals used in laboratories every year now moves to the Council of Ministers. We will not give up on them, even if many MEPs have’.


For further information contact the BUAV Media Office on 44(0) 20 7619 6978 or out of hours on + 44 (0)7850 510 955 or visit our Web site: www.eceae.org 



All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 7139 adults and took place in the UK France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th February - 4th March 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the population sizes of the countries surveyed.

ECEAE Member Organisations: ADDA (Spain), Animal (Portugal), Animal Friends Croatia (Croatia), Animal Rights Sweden (Sweden), Animalia (Finland), BUAV (UK), Deutscher Tierschutzbund (Germany), Dyrevernalliansen (Norway), EDEV (Netherlands), Forsøgsdyrenes Værn (Denmark), GAIA (Belgium), Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (Ireland), LAV (Italy), One Voice (France), People for Animal Rights (Germany), Svoboda zvírat (Czech Republic), SSPA (Switzerland)