Animals used for scientific purposes
The protection and welfare of animals is an area covered by a wide range of EU legislation. This includes the protection of wildlife, zoo animals, farm animals, animals in transport and animals used for scientific purposes. Animal studies, whether for the development or production of new medicines, for physiological studies, for studying environmental effects or for the testing of chemicals or new food additives, must be carried out in compliance with EU legislation.
Since 1986, the EU has had specific legislation covering the use of animals for scientific purposes. On 22 September 2010 the EU adopted Directive 2010/63/EU which updated and replaced the 1986 Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The aim of the Directive is to strengthen legislation, and improve the welfare of those animals still needed to be used, as well as to firmly anchor the principle of the Three Rs, to Replace, Reduce and Refine the use of animals, in EU legislation. The EU Directive is unique in the world because it sets as its ultimate goal the full replacement of use of animals for scientific purposes. The Directive took effect on 1 January 2013. In 2019, it was further amended by Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 to incorporate ambitious goals for reporting and transparency to help progress towards the ultimate goal.
The Commission's response to the Citizens' Initiative "Stop Vivisection" has been adopted
- Comprehensive guidance on how to deal with Genetically Altered Animals under the Directive, endorsed by National Contact Points, is now available in English
- Guidance document on how to draft meaningful and complete Non-technical Project Summaries, endorsed by National Contact Points, is now available in English
- The Conference Report and presentations are now available for the 2021 European Commission Scientific Conference: Towards replacement of animals for scientific purposes”
- The first version of the ALURES NTS EU Database is launched! Non-technical project summaries (NTS) of projects authorised by the Member States since 1.1.2021 can now be searched using the EU database. Together with statistical data, they provide a unique level of transparency on animal-based research and testing in Europe.
- The 2018 statistical data on the use of animals for scientific purposes has been released. Data, now also submitted by Norway, can be reviewed using ALURES Statistical EU Database, or by the accompanying 2018 Summary Report.
- Discover new open access education and training tools to facilitate the implementation of the Directive and make progress with the Three Rs and non-animal alternatives. Find out more on our new dedicated page for education and training.
- FELASA2022 Congress is added on the events page
- The ALURES Statistical EU Database is launched! It offers free access to all interested in obtaining more information on animal use in the EU. The database is supported by a downloadable leaflet and a video.
- As part of a series of studies to review non-animal models and methods in various disease areas, EURL ECVAM has published a freely available knowledge base with descriptions of over 900 non-animal models for neurodegenerative diseases
- EPAA 2021 Refinement prize for a laboratory technician, animal care-taker or technologist who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in new, novel approaches to advance implementation and/or awareness raising of Refinement of animal testing – deadline 6 September
- EPAA 2021 Student grants support students and young scientists with outstanding work in the field of alternative approaches for attending a high-profile scientific events.
- The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) Opinion on “Ethics of Genome Editing” has been uploaded
- As part of a series of studies to review non-animal models and methods in various disease areas, EURL ECVAM has published a freely available knowledge base with descriptions of over 900 non-animal models for breast cancer research
- Recordings of a series of webinars on non-animal-derived mono- and polyclonal antibodies, co-organised by EURL ECVAM, are available for viewing
- As part of a series of studies to review non-animal models and methods in various disease areas, EURL ECVAM has published a freely available knowledge base with descriptions of nearly 300 non-animal models used for respiratory disease research
- Commission Joint Research Centre Science for Policy Report “EURL ECVAM Recommendation on non-animal-derived antibodies” is published
- Section on statistics and non-technical project summaries has been amended to reflect updated legislation and cater for new transparency measures
- Slovakia has provided a new Article 47 voluntary Member State report on efforts to promote the Three Rs
- Multiple updates to the details of National Contact Points, National Committees, members of PARERE network and web-links to Member State national statistics and non-technical project summaries
- Commission Implementing Decision 2020/569/EU on MS reporting obligations has been adopted replacing Decision 2012/707/EU
- The latest EURL ECVAM status report on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods and approaches (2019) has been published
- A Refinement Wiki has been added to Three Rs Databases
- EPAA 3Rs Science Prize 2020 has been launched for a scientist with an outstanding contribution to the 3Rs – deadline 5 October
- A new Three Rs organisation, the RepRefRed Society, has been added on Three Rs resources
- Updates to contact details and links for Member State national statistics, non-technical project summaries
- First EU report on the statistics on the use of animals for scientific purposes under Directive 2010/63/EU, covering years 2015-2017, has been published
- First EU report on the Implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU has been published
- Applications for EPAA Student grants have been launched covering following three events in 2020: ESTIV (June), 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in Life Sciences (August) and EUROTOX annual congress (September)
- New report to boost cross-disciplinary approaches in biosciences published by EURL ECVAM
- EURL ECVAM has launched a call for tender (deadline 31.3.2020) to map mechanistic knowledge on toxicological effects caused by chronic exposure to chemicals
- Link to DOPS (Direct Observation of Procedural/ Practical Skills) website to help competence assessment added to Three Rs resources
- Several updates to contact details and links for PARERE network , Member State national statistics, non-technical project summaries published by the Member States and National Committees
- Download the latest two posters on Animal Welfare Bodies and the processing of Genetically Altered Animals under the Directive to help remind about the key tools and requirements
- Moving transparency to the next level: Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 adopted paving the way for an open access, central EU databases for non-technical project summaries and Member State annual statistics
- Several activities under EP Pilot to promote non animal alternatives and implementation of the Three Rs through eLearning, and other practical tools and guidance for trainers and educators
- New Three Rs resources added including EURL ECVAM Inventory on Three Rs knowledge sources and RSPCA report on how to avoid mortality
- The latest EURL ECVAM status report on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods and approaches (2018) has been published
- How to reduce severe suffering? How to improve research reproducibility? New links and several new Three Rs organisations added to Three Rs key resources
- The downloadable catalogue of guidance published by National Committees is updated
- New links to both Member State Non-technical Project Summaries and national statistical publications have been added
- Belgium provided an updated report on their Three Rs efforts
- The list of Member State National Contact Points responsible for Directive 2010/63/EU has been updated
- Several hyperlinks updated, including access to a revised, more user-friendly web-site of EURL ECVAM
- New events added on the events page, including new FELASA Workshop on Severity Assessment Framework
- The downloadable catalogue of guidance published by National Committees has been updated
- New Three Rs resources added to “Portals and web-sites” and “Other resources and organisations”
- More links added to access Member State Non-technical Project Summaries
- Participate in a Survey to contribute information on 3Rs education and training resources
- Call for submissions for EPAA’s 3Rs Student grants 2018 has been launched
- Five new Member State links added for the publication of Non-technical Project Summaries
- New FELASA Workshop on Severity Assessment Framework under Directive 2010/63/EU announced
- Directive 2010/63/EU included in a Commission proposal for alignment of reporting obligations in environment policies
- New page dedicated to the publication of Non-technical Project Summaries with links to the relevant Member State web-sites
- The downloadable catalogue of guidance published by National Committees has been updated
- Participate in a Pyrogenicity Survey carried out by EPAA (European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing to understand the current choice of methods for pyrogenicity testing.
- Several updates to contact details and links for PARERE network , Member State national statistics and National Committees
- New events added on the events page
- New dedicated page for National Committees under Directive 2010/63/EU including a downloadable catalogue of guidance published by National Committees
- Revised leaflet and flyer for DB-ALM and a new flyer for TSAR – see more on the poster page
- New 3Rs Center in Italy, Centro 3R, has been added to the Three Rs resources page
- New FELASA Workshop on Severity Assessment Framework under Directive 2010/63/EU announced – see our events page
- Warm welcome to the Canadian, the Swedish and the Swiss 3Rs centers on the updated list of Organisations in the field of "Three Rs"
- New section to help project planning, experimental design and reporting with links to relevant tools added to the Three Rs resources page
- The Conference Report from the European Commission Scientific Conference: Non Animal Approaches – The Way Forward is now available also in French, German and Italian
- New Three Rs organisation has been added to the Three Rs resources page
- New event has been added to the events page
- Directive 2010/63/EU Review Report in line with Article 58 of the Directive has been published
- Article 10 Feasibility Study on the use of second or higher generation purpose-bred non-human primates under Directive 2010/63/EU has been published
- The Conference Report, presentations and posters are available for the European Commission Scientific Conference: Non Animal Approaches - The Way Forward