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Animals used for scientific purposes

Increasing the welfare of animals used in experiments

Results of our expert 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 experts 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). We especially acknowledge your efforts, given the length of the document presented for the consultation and certain technical limitations concerning the data input.

A total of 283 replies, providing over 12.000 detailed comments, were received to some 200 questions in relation to the preliminary findings and conclusions from the on-going impact assessment.

The main aim of the expert consultation was to receive additional quantitative data to improve the impact assessment. However, it is clear that, in addition to very useful factual data, a number of respondents have used the opportunity to convey political messages.

The results are currently being analysed by DG Environment in collaboration with the contractor carrying out the impact assessment which will then be completed, taking into account the results of the expert consultation. Some of the replies to this consultation will also help the Commission in its legal drafting regarding the 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.

Respondents had three options for their reply: they could either state that they support the preliminary analysis, they have no opinion in relation to the question or that they do not support the preliminary analysis or components of it. In case of non-support they were asked to justify this disagreement by providing arguments, facts and figures and, if possible, indicate the source of information. However, a number of respondents opted for the "No" reply also to supply additional arguments in support of the preliminary analysis, or in cases where they agreed with the conclusions but not with the analysis leading to the conclusions. This will, of course be taken into account in our analysis, but will slightly misrepresent the statistics showing support/non-support for each question.

The preliminary analysis of the potential impacts on issues such as scope, ethical evaluation of projects, ethical review process at establishments, EU inspections, requirements for training and competence and statistical reporting was met with most agreement. The least agreement could be found with the potential impacts and links between high animal welfare and decreased risk of violent extremist activity, on the prohibition to use CO2 and the basis of impact calculations for the second generation purpose-bred non-human primates.


The answers to the questionnaire are presented according to the twelve subsections of the original expert questionnaire.

Each section contains all expert replies for individual questions, sorted according to the type of organisation (user, breeder, public authority, etc.). Within each of these categories, responses are listed in alphabetical order by the names of respondents and continuing with those wishing to remain confidential.

The anonymous respondents have been allocated an individual number which will help the reader to trace back in case any cross-references were made.