Media Centre

PETA Statement on the Agreement on the EU Animal Experiments Directive

Contact: Alistair Currie 0207 357 9229, ext 245; AlistairC@peta.org.uk

While the new directive will raise standards of protection for animals in some EU countries, it's a terrible missed opportunity because it fails to move science and the ethical treatment of animals forward across the whole EU. This result is mainly a triumph of scaremongering on the part of a hidebound research establishment. The Commission's original proposals were moderate and achievable and, most importantly, reflected the concerns and desires of Europeans. The response of the animal experimentation industry was to employ its vast lobbying resources - including influence and cash - to stop any meaningful advance in animal protection and stifle the opportunity to give much-needed impetus to the development of non-animal testing methods. Sadly, by frightening politicians with utterly unfounded claims about bureaucracy and brain drains, industry has managed to emasculate a directive that embodied the genuine desire of EU citizens to curtail its licence to use animals as just another piece of disposable laboratory equipment. In 1986, Europe led the world with a progressive directive: in 2010, we've consigned ourselves to the backwaters.