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27-02-2009 - Commission proposes to

Commission proposes to strengthen the protection of animals used in scientific


On 5 November, the European Commission presented a proposal in order to minimise the number of animals used in scientific procedures and significantly improve the treatment of the animals still needed for safety testing and biomedical research throughout the European Union5. It should also enhance the quality of research conducted in the EU and ensure high standards of human and animal health and environmental protection. The new proposal contains a number of measures designed to tighten up current EU legislation. It states that it will be compulsory to carry out an ethical evaluation, and authorise projects using animals at Member State level.

The proposal contains a ban on the use of great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans) in scientific procedures. However, research on great apes could still take place for the conservation of the species itself, and isallowed if necessary in the case of a serious pandemic affecting the human population in Europe.

The scope of the proposal has been widened to include specific invertebrate species, foetal forms from last 3rd of their development, and animals used in basic research, education and training. Housing and care measures for experimental animals are set out for the first time. Based on

Recommendation 2007/526/EC, minimum requirements for housing and care will be firmly laid down in the new Directive. The proposal, a revision of Directive 86/609/EEC, will be adopted through the codecision procedure and now awaits transmission to the European Parliament and the Council for their official positions on the draft.

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