The European Parliament Passes a Resolution to End the Use of Animals in Research and Testing
In a nearly unanimous vote of 667 to 4, the European Parliament on Wednesday passed a historic resolution that calls on the European Commission to phase out all animal experiments.
The overwhelming support for the resolution comes at a critical time, as it was recently revealed that the European Chemical Agency has been willfully disregarding a longstanding ban on animal testing for cosmetics by demanding additional animal testing for numerous cosmetic ingredients.
The resolution requests a European Union-wide action plan, complete with ambitious objectives and a timeline, to phase out the use of animals in all research and testing. Perhaps most significant, the resolution highlights the need for sufficient funding to be made available to ensure the fast development, validation and introduction of alternative testing methods to facilitate a faster transition away from animal models, according to a press release from the European Parliament.
Recognizing the potential of existing animal alternatives, as well as the need to discover and implement novel alternatives, the resolution calls for systemic change in the scientific realm. Suggested changes include educating, training and retraining scientists, researchers and technicians in using advanced non-animal models; raising awareness of validated non-animal models; and collaboration between governments and the private sector to develop and perfect alternative models and to help companies make the switch in their own labs.
Given the current health crisis that has brought life to a standstill across the globe, the timing of this scientifically progressive resolution couldn’t be better. Testing methods based on human biology, such as lab-grown human organs, 3D printed human tissue, organ-chip technology, and computer models are our best chance at developing solutions and treatments to our most pressing health concerns. The directive by a political body consisting of 27 European countries to prioritize and focus on these human-based methods is good news for us all.
Stateside, NAVS celebrates this historic resolution and will continue to support federal legislation such as the FDA Modernization Act and the Humane Research and Testing Act, which will help researchers access human-based scientific models and encourage increased funding for the development and validation of such models.