PETA Statement In Response To The European Commission’S Proposal For An Updated Directive On The Protection Of Animals Used For Experimental And Other Purposes

For Immediate Release:
05 November 2008

Alistair Currie, 0207 357 9229 ext 245; [email protected]
Anna Sargent, 0207 357 9229 ext 228; [email protected]

PETA Europe has reacted with disappointment and dismay to the European Commission’s long-awaited proposal to revise the laws governing animal experimentation in the EU. While welcome for the progress it makes in some areas, this long-overdue proposal is also a significant missed opportunity to bring animal experimentation under meaningful control and to end experiments on non-human primates. Numbers of animals used are spiralling upwards, and the 12 million animals used in the EU each year deserve far better than this.

PETA welcomes the introduction of some degree of ethical review, the extension of protection to animals not previously covered and provisions for retrospective review of the results of experiments. We also welcome the ban on great ape experimentation but regret that it contains a loophole preventing it from being absolute and definitive. It is wholly unacceptable that despite huge support from the public and Members of the European Parliament, the Commission has failed to establish a timetable for the end of non-human primate testing. The proposal also does not ensure that animal experiments are subjected to truly rigorous ethical evaluation, nor does it introduce desperately needed transparency to the system: people throughout Europe have a right to know exactly what is done to animals in laboratories and how it is approved and to be able to judge for themselves whether it is justified. Without those crucial provisions, this proposal keeps decision-making about animal experiments behind closed doors – which benefits experimenters but leaves millions of animals exposed to continued, unnecessary and prolonged suffering and keeps the citizens of Europe in the dark.

PETA will be campaigning and lobbying hard to ensure meaningful restrictions are introduced as this draft law progresses through the legislative process. For more information visit