MEPs Question the Validity of Animal Tests, Call for Wider Debate

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In a promising development for animals, this week members of the European Parliament have asked the European Commission for a scientific debate into the validity of animals as models for human diseases. This could have far-reaching consequences for the 11.5 million animals who are experimented on in Europe each year.

Stock guinea pig smallYesterday’s debate about animal testing was sparked by a European citizens’ initiative, through which more than 1.2 million compassionate Europeans called for an end to animal experimentation. MEPs heard from scientific experts who support our long-held belief that animals are not good predictors of human diseases or reactions to drugs.

Experiments on animals often lead to costly and fruitless clinical trials, which can endanger human life, delay scientific progress and cause millions of animals to suffer. A 2014 review paper co-authored by a Yale School of Medicine professor in the prestigious medical journal BMJ stated, “[I]f research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced”.

There was unanimous agreement for greater funding for the development and use of cutting-edge, humane and human-relevant scientific methodologies and an accelerated validation process for non-animal testing methods.

MEPs also recognised that animals deserve moral consideration. Animals feel pain and fear, just as we do, they should not be subjected to abuse and suffering that would likely be illegal if it took place anywhere else.

We fully support the proposal for a comprehensive scientific public debate to challenge the validity of the animal model. As André Ménache, one of the organisers of the initiative, stated:

“[A]nimal testing is not a necessary evil …. We can take away the ‘necessary’ because we have the technology, all that’s left is the ‘evil’. Public opinion will not tolerate the evil and will sweep away the evil.”

Join our campaign to sweep away animal testing for cosmetics in the EU – send a message to officials and MEPs via our action alert.

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