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Animals used for scientific purposes

Public consultation on the revision of Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes

16 June - 18 August 2006

The European Commission held an internet consultation in the summer of 2006 about the welfare of laboratory animals and would like to thank all respondents for their valuable contributions. We especially acknowledge the effort put into the expert responses taking into account the length of the document presented for the consultation and certain technical limitations concerning the data input.


The impact assessment will be completed by the end of 2006, taking into account the results of the expert consultation. Following the impact assessment, the replies to this consultation will further help the Commission in its considerations regarding a revision of Directive 86/609/EEC, with the aim of improving animal welfare and the functioning of the internal market in the field of animal experimentation.


The aims of this consultation were two-fold:

  • To provide the Commission with views of the public on the use of animals in experiments and ways to improve their welfare; and
  • To comment on the preliminary findings of the impact assessment for the revision of the existing legislation for the protection of animals used in experiments.

The consultation consisted of two separate questionnaires, one for all interested citizens and one for experts in the area of animal welfare, animal testing, animal science, natural sciences (especially biology, medicine, pharmacology and toxicology), legal and economic affairs related to these areas.

The citizens' questionnaire consisted of multiple choice questions asking the views of the respondents on different aspects of animal experimentation and the perception of the level of animal welfare both at national as well as EU level.

The expert consultation was built around different policy options for the revision. These were drawn from the input from the results of the TEWG (Technical Expert Working Group), and the Opinions by SCAHAW (Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare) and AHAW Panel (Animal Health and Animal Welfare). An impact assessment is evaluating these options and has provided preliminary conclusions about the related benefits and costs. The expert consultation presented these preliminary findings to assess their validity. If a respondent disagreed with the preliminary findings, he or she was requested to provide further arguments supported by factual and quantitative data.

Access to original questionnaires