E.U adopts new rules for lab animal care & use
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)
STRASBOURG–The European Parliament on Sept-ember 8, 2010
ratified an updated edition of the 25-year-old European Union rules
for animal use in laboratories. Member nations have two years to
The new rules state that “When an alternative to animal
testing can be found it must be used.” Animal researchers are now
required to keep written histories of each individual non-human
primate, dog or cat used in experiments to document that their
welfare needs are met.
Governments now are to inspect animal labs at least every
third year, and to do unnannounced spot checks to ensure compliance
with the new animal care requirements.
The new rules discourage the use of monkeys and all but
prohibit the use of chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and
orangutans. “The use of non-human primates should be permitted only
in those biomedical areas essential for the benefit of human beings,
for which no other alternative replacement methods are yet
available,” the new rules state.
“In theory, great apes can be used in such research, but in
practice license applications face tough EU scrutiny,” commented
“Sustained public pressure has already ensured that no great
apes have been used in European Union research in eight years,”
observed the Los Angeles Times.
About 12 million animals per year are used in laboratories
within the 27-nation EU, including about 12,000 non-human primates.
About 80% of the animals are mice and rats, said Science News.
“About half are used for drug development and testing, a third for
biological studies, and the rest for cosmetic testing, toxicology
and disease diagnosis,” Science News added.
The EU banned animal use in cosmetics testing in 2009,
except for use in some long-running studies which must end by 2013.