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Animals used for scientific purposes

Legal basis for statistics

Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes introduced modernised requirements for reporting of statistical data on the use of animals for scientific purposes in the EU.

The legal basis is in Article 54 of the Directive. Article 54(2) requires that "Member States shall collect and make publicly available, on an annual basis, statistical information on the use of animals in procedures, including information on the actual severity of the procedures and on the origin and species of non-human primates used in procedures…"

Article 54(4) provides that "The Commission shall by 10 May 2012 establish a common format for submitting the information referred to in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of this Article in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 56(3)."

Commission Implementing Decision 2012/707/EU, Annex II describes the data categories for which annual statistics should be collected in the EU. Annex II also gives more details of some of these categories for better understanding and accurate data collection.
2014 was the first year in which data were collected on the basis of the new reporting requirements in the EU. These data were required to be published for the first time in 2015 by the Member States.

The Commission is required to publish the complied EU data for the first time in November 2019.(Article 57(2) that "10 November 2019 and every 3 years thereafter, the Commission shall, based on the statistical information submitted by Member States under Article 54(2), submit to the European Parliament and the Council a summary report on that information.")

Finally, it is important to note that the new data are not comparable with the previous (2011 and before) reports. The introduction of new 'use' categories as well as new species (cephalopods) significantly changed the scope of the reporting obligations. Also, the previous reports only gave detailed information on the first use of an animal, whereas now all uses must be reported – from the first use of an animal to any subsequent uses, in line with the Three Rs principles.