A Written Declaration (similar to an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons) to limit scientific research on animals is currently available for signing in the European Parliament. The Declaration asks for increased funding to be used to explore ways of replacing scientific research using animals, and calls on the European Commission to look into various ways of achieving this.
Although I agree with this Declaration and will be signing it, I should first point out that important steps have already been taken in Europe towards limiting tests on animals. The European Commission at present provides funding and services to promote the development and validation of alternatives to animal methods, not least through ECVAM (the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods).”
However, more could, of course, be done. One interesting option for raising money for work on replacing animal research by other methods would be a “research levy”. This would take the form of adding a certain amount, say one percent, to the selling price of products that contain ingredients tested on animals. An item normally costing £5.00 would be just 5p more, surely a small price to pay.
Better coordination and acceleration of administrative procedures could also help, and I would also like the Commission to look at how these two things could be dealt with.
I’m aware, in addition, that many researchers argue that some animal experiments are necessary to ensure the safety of products; that there just aren’t sufficient alternatives available.
This may, indeed, be true as of now. But I believe it’s important to do all that we possibly can to prevent the needless suffering of animals and to continue to look for alternative scientifically sound ways to conduct experiments which do not involve animals of any kind. Animals are living, sentient beings just as we are and therefore deserve our care and respect.