European Citizens' Initiative "Stop Vivisection" puts animal testing in the spotlight of EU policy makers

On June 3rd the European Commission published a communication in response to the European Citizens´ Initiative "Stop Vivisection" pursuing the goal of phasing out animal experiments by 2020 and thus, repealing the current Directive 2010/63/EU.

Although the European Commission welcomed the initiative’s commitment to animal welfare, it decided not to submit a proposal to revise the current directive.
Nevertheless, the EC shares the conviction that animal testing should be phased out in Europe and is convinced that Directive 2010/63/EU is one step on this way, ensuring a high level of protection of the animals used in research for the time being.

Furthermore, the EC emphasis that over the last decade, technological advances have revolutionized biomedical research. Major breakthroughs include the development of alternative tests based on cell and tissue cultures, and computational methods that reduce the need for testing animals.

In the light of these breakthroughs, the research project NOTOX jointly funded by the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe is developing non-animal, human relevant and scientifically based testing strategies for repeated dose toxicity. More precisely, NOTOX seeks to illustrate how computer models calibrated with in vitro experiments can be used to predict possible toxic effects in human liver.

In response to the European Citizens´ Initiative the Commission plans to review the directive in 2017 and will further emphasize the research on alternative approaches as developed by NOTOX.

Further information: Communication of the European Commission, European Citizens´ Initiative "Stop Vivisection".

If you are interested in learning more about NOTOX achievements we invite you to meet us at the NOTOX Symposium @ EUROTOX 2015