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Council agrees on stricter rules for animal experimentation

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Monday, 24 May 2010

Council agrees on stricter rules for animal experimentation

The Council agreed on a draft directive for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, aimed at strengthening the protection of animals whilst allowing research to continue playing a key role in the fight against diseases. Under the new provisions member states will be required to ensure that: experiments with animals are replaced, wherever possible, by an alternative method which is scientifically satisfactory; the number of animals used in projects is reduced to a minimum without compromising the quality of results; the degree of pain and suffering caused to animals is limited to the minimum. The use of non-human primates for scientific purposes will be subject to tight restrictions. Experiments with great apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans will be prohibited; a member state may however allow exceptionally the use of great apes if it has justifiable reasons for believing that it is essential for the survival of the species itself or because of an unexpected outbreak of a life-threatening or debilitating disease in human beings. The Council's decision completes a partial agreement reached by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 14-16 December 2009 and reflects a provisional agreement reached in an informal trialogue on 7 April 2010 with the European Parliament. The decision will be formally adopted at a forthcoming Council meeting, after finalisation of the text, and forwarded to the European Parliament for its second reading.

Source: Council of the European Union