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Animals used for scientific purposes

The rationale behind the different tables

Table 1 - Number of animals used in relation to their place of origin (origin versus species)

The Directive makes provisions with regard to the minimum standards to be maintained by the supplying and breeding establishments. Consequently, it can be said that animals obtained from the registered breeding or supplying establishment should have received at least the level of care as required by the Directive.

Table 1 gives an overview of the total numbers of animals used in experiments. In addition, it looks at the origins of the animals and the number of animals re-used.

From an animal welfare point of view, ideally, the trend over the years should be away from animals obtained from other origins towards animals obtained from the registered breeding and supplying establishments in the reporting country. This will in return reduce the risk of distress and suffering due to transportation.

Table 2 - Number of animals used in experiments for selected purposes (purpose versus species)

This table gives an insight into the areas of activities where animals are used. Also, it indicates how the uses of different species and the numbers of animals vary according to purpose.

Table 3 - Number of animals used in toxicological and other safety evaluations (products versus species)

European legislation sets a high level of protection for the human and animal health and the environment. This is also true for the third countries, so additional testing may be required when the product is destined for export. This table further expands on the area of toxicology.

Table 4 -Number of animals used in experiments for studies on human and animal diseases (main categories versus species)

An important area of research is to increase the understanding of diseases and defects. This table demonstrates how animals are used in some key areas of research. It is also worth noting that some testing is carried out to increase understanding of animal diseases only.

Table 5 - Number of animals used in production and quality control of products and devices for human medicine and dentistry and for veterinary medicine (regulatory requirements versus species) and

Table 6 - Number of animals used in toxicological and other safety evaluations (regulatory requirements versus species)

In trade, within the EU and internationally, manufacturers are obliged to comply with the requirements of the importing country. These particular tables allow the identification of where the legislative requirements originate and of how well the international harmonisation process is progressing. As harmonisation advances, there should be a trend in the numbers towards the column headed 'any combination'. The same applies to harmonisation between national and EU requirements.

These tables should also be referred to when drafting new legislation, to increase the awareness of the implications of new legal requirements on animal testing.

Table 7 - Number of animals used in toxicological and other safety evaluations (types of tests versus species) and

Table 8 - Number of animals used in toxicological and other safety evaluations (types of tests versus products)

These two tables give an understanding of the types of tests required and performed on animals.

They give information on where research on alternative methods could be focused. The tables are designed to highlight key indicators, such as numbers and species in relation to the type of test (the degree of pain and suffering). Indication of the product type gives an interesting explanation as to who are the main "customers" for these types of animal tests.

The introduction of validated and accepted in vitro methods will probably affect the figures in these tables. The tables can therefore assist in estimating the degree of the implementation of such methods.