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May 17, 2012

HSI/UK Responds to Home Office Announcement on Regulation of Animal Experiments and Transposition of EU Directive 2010/63

Humane Society International/United Kingdom

  • It's time to end animal testing. istock

Humane Society International/UK has issued a statement following publication of the British government’s response to the public consultation on options for the transposition into national law of European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. All EU Member States must transpose the provisions of the new Directive into legislation by 10 November 2012 and implement them from 1 January 2013. The UK’s public consultation took place in 2011, to which Humane Society International made an expert submission.

Troy Seidle, Director of Research & Toxicology at HSI/UK, said:

"The Home Office’s response offers little in the way of reform in the way that animal experiment are regulated in Britain, and is unlikely to do anything to significantly reduce the number of animals subjected to experiments. This response seems largely about maintaining the status quo which means maintaining an already flawed system that is insufficiently scrutinised with independence or scientific rigour.

When the Coalition Government pledged to reduce animals in research, the British public and nearly 170 MPs who supported the pledge in an Early Day Motion, hoped for a genuine strategy for change. Instead we broadly have business as usual and a missed opportunity to advance humane science without animal suffering. Science excellence depends on us moving away from the old-fashioned animal models of the past that so often fail to shed light on the medical questions of today. That means reform and funding focused on advanced, human-relevant research and testing methods.

Only by transitioning away from animal use and investing in the development of emerging and future research technologies, can we hope to harness the very latest human health and drug discovery advances that science has to offer and improve the quality of our medical research endeavours."

A YouGov poll commissioned last year by HSI/UK, revealed that 69 percent of the British public want to see the Government take action to reduce and replace animal experiments. [All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,864 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd-4th July 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).]

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