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European Union Moves To Phase Out Animal Experiments

The European Parliament has recently passed a resolution¹ calling for an action plan to end the use of animal experimentation. The resolution passed with 667 votes to 4.

In 2010, the European Union adopted a directive with the ultimate aim of replacing the use of animals in research. Progress towards this goal has been slow. This new resolution is meant to speed up the process, putting in place a coherent plan to eliminate animals from experiments.

The next step will be with the European Commission, who will begin working on the new plan. Key elements of the plan will be identifying changes to be made in the science and the funding necessary to make it happen.

Campaigners in New Zealand have been calling for similar reforms here and are concerned that New Zealand is falling behind the world.

Earlier this year, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) launched a ‘Striking at the Source’ petition that calls for establishing a similar goal here in New Zealand, allocating the funding to achieve it, and broader reforms to encourage scientists to adopt new practices.

This latest move by the European Union should serve as a wakeup call to the New Zealand government, says NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson.

“New Zealand has really fallen behind the times. Internationally countries are actively working towards eliminating the use of animals in experiments altogether. In New Zealand, we haven’t even set it as a goal yet.”

The Striking at the Source petition calls for changes to the law, updates to funding strategies, retraining of scientists, and more.

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“What we are seeing in Europe is that there really needs to be an active plan to help manage the transition away from animals in experiments. Establishing a funding plan, retraining scientists, and establishing a centre for researching replacement methods will all go a long way towards improving our science.”

“If we do not begin the transition towards an animal-free science industry soon, we will find our methods entirely obsolete as the world upgrades to better methods.”

“Animals do not provide a good model of humans. The technologies of the future are not going to be using animals, and New Zealand needs to start the work necessary to adopt these changes.”

The Striking at the Source petition that NZAVS created can be seen here:


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