Today, the European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) publish the final Opinion on ‘the need for non-human primates (NHP) in biomedical research, production and testing of products and devices’ (2017 update).
The Commission has requested SCHEER to review and update its 2009 Opinion, as foreseen by Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (2010/63/EU). The 2017 Opinion addresses six main issues in the mandate of NHP studies and tests, such as areas of research where NHP continue to be used today, opportunities for reducing and refining their use and scientific viewpoints on when NHP use will no longer be necessary. It also considers potential implications an EU-wide ban of NHP use would have on biomedical research.
The new opinion also highlights the many scientific approaches that could significantly contribute to the replacement, reduction and refinement (3Rs) for the use of NHPs, using alternative methods, training, improvement of techniques and protocols, sharing of knowledge, removal of barriers and research needs.