EU bans experiments on great apes

a chimpanzee in captivityvia SBS World News:

After two years of heated debate on how to protect animal welfare without scuppering scientific research, the European Parliament agreed to reduce the number of animal tests in Europe and enforce stricter rules for animals used in research.

Under the new legislation, experiments on great apes such as chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans are to be banned and “strict” restrictions set on the use of primates in general.

Good. There are also tighter restrictions on painful experimentation on all animals under the new legislation, and more rigorous licensing procedures for the breeding of laboratory animals.

There have, however, been objections from Greens and other progressive MEPs that the new regulations do not go far enough, because other animals will still be painfully tested. They have a point. There are 12 million laboratory animals used in experimentation annually in the EU, and this legislation will still leave millions of those experiments able to go forward.

These aren’t just ethical questions, there are also scientific questions about the reliability of animal tests, at least regarding the level of primacy they hold in the standard assessment process for new therapeutic regimes. Why torture animals unless it’s absolutely necessary, which in many cases it appears not to be?

Categories: ethics & philosophy, Science

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2 replies

  1. Thank you for drawing this to my attention.
    Apart from anything I really needed to read some good news on this front after accidentally reading an article about Jonathan Safran Foer’s research. It has haunted me since.

  2. Thankyou for this, Togtog. I can hardly bear to look at news or information about the systematic sadism that is animal experimentation, so I often just don’t. A short burst of good news is very, very welcome.

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