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Animals used for scientific purposes

Increasing the welfare of animals used in experiments

Results of citizen's questionnaire 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

We would like to thank the participants in our public consultation for their valuable contributions which will help us further in the preparation for the revision of the existing legislation for the protection of animals used in experiments (Directive 86/609/EEC).

With a total of 42,655 replies, from all 25 Member States, as well as third countries, the citizens' consultation received the third largest number of responses to a Commission internet consultation ever.

The results of this consultation are based on the responses of citizens who are interested in the subject and took the initiative to fill in the questionnaire. Therefore, the results are not comparable to those obtained from surveys, such as Eurobarometer. However, the large participation gives a strong indication of the public interest in this area. A large majority of respondents supports measures at EU level to increase the welfare of animals.

For instance, 93 % of the respondents answered either "Yes, certainly" or "Yes, probably" to the question "Do you believe that more needs to be done to improve the level of welfare/protection of animals used in experiments by action at EU level?".

79% of the respondents answered either "No, certainly not" or "No, probably not" to the question "Do you think that there is enough public funding at European level (e.g. EU framework programme for research) into the development and validation of alternative methods to replace animals experiments?".

Finally, 92% of the respondents were of the opinion that the EU should play a leadership role in promoting in the international arena a greater awareness of animal welfare and protection, in particular regarding animals used in experiments.

The opinions voiced by the public and the results from the expert consultation together with the conclusions of the impact assessment and other scientific/technical data will 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.

View the complete results (pdf ~13kb)