In a incisive statement on the European Citizens´ Initiative (ECI) “Stop Vivisection”, the League of European Research Universities joins The Wellcome Trust in calling upon the European Parliament and the Commission to reject this initiative. The ECI “Stop Vivisection” aims to prohibit the use of all animals in research and LERU does not like this at all.
“It is based on flawed arguments, and if allowed to progress, could lead to the annulment of the 2010 EU Directive regulating the use of animals in research. This would be disastrous for Europe’s research, as it would result in all such research being moved to other continents and putting Europe out of business in developing treatments for all kinds of diseases.”
LERU has decided to publicly state its opposition to “the misguided and incorrect information that “Stop Vivisection” is spreading” and decided to endorse The Wellcome Trust´s Statement in support of the EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. By supporting Directive 2010/63/EU, LERU wishes to call attention “to the fundamental importance of the use of animals in research and the vital role it plays in understanding and providing treatment for a range of debilitating and life threatening human diseases such as cancer, primary immunodeficiencies, neuro-degenerative diseases and heart failure.”
3R’s on animals
This EU-Directive anchored the principles of the 3Rs (to Replace, Reduce and Refine the use of animals) in EU legislation. Through this it tries to achieve harmonization with the highest animal welfare standards. Under this Directive, animals may be used in research where the potential medical, veterinary and scientific benefits are compelling and no viable alternative method is available.
LERU calls upon the European Parliament and the Commission to maintain the effort undertaken through Directive 2010/63/EU towards the harmonization of these standards, the application of the 3Rs and the advancement of research for the improvement of human and animal health. LERU’s Secretary-General, Prof. Kurt Deketelaere, states : “Failure to do so will prove seriously detrimental to human and animal health, animal welfare and high-quality animal research”.
Next to the Wellcome Trust statement, LERU’s members fully support the UK Concordat on Openness on Animal Research. The Concordat also illustrates the “Responsible Research & Innovation” (RRI) approach, as promoted and confirmed by the November 2014 Rome Declaration on RRI. “Perhaps the EC should also do an “RRI”-check, before it registers a proposed European Citizens’ Initiative”, Deketelaere suggests.