Use of live animals for testing in the EU during the period 2009-2012


20 February 2013    

Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE)


Commissioner Borg’s recent statement on the implementation of Directive 76/768/EEC, and the resulting end of testing on live animals in the cosmetics sector, raises the important issue of the use of animals in all kinds of testing. Over time, society has shown firmer support for reducing animal testing and replacing it with alternative models and systems.

In Galicia, for example, the Bloque Nacionalista Galego has tabled budgetary amendments aimed at giving researchers the financial means to conduct research without using animals, and it has even raised the need to establish an institutional prize for the best example of research not using live animals.

EU citizens are also calling for action, such as the Citizens’ Initiative, to put an end to this testing.

Much of the testing, as is the case with cosmetics, is repetitive, virtually useless and truly horrific, with experiments that are in reality cruel and of questionable effectiveness.

1. How many animals have been used in experiments of all kinds in the EU as a whole during the period 2009‐2012?

2. Is the Commission planning to develop new legislation on animal welfare and the refinement and replacement of animal testing?

Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

26 March 2013    

1. The 6th Statistical Report on the number of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes covered the use of animals in EU for 2008(1). The 7th Report will include data from 2011 and is currently under preparation. The EU report is prepared every three years in line with Article 26 of Directive 86/609/EEC(2) on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes.2. In January 2013, Directive 2010/63/EU(3) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes came into full effect. It strengthens and significantly improves the legislation in the area of animal experimentation in the EU. The Principle of the 3Rs to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals forms the cornerstone of the directive. It contains a number of measures designed to minimise significantly the use and suffering animals in scientific procedures, and to channel further resources towards the development of alternative methods and strategies.

(2)    OJ L 358, 18.12.1986.
(3)    OJ L 276, 20.10.2010.