Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Campaigners meet EU environment commissioner to discuss primate test ban

Posted: 16 January 2008


A delegation of supporters and sponsors of a European Parliament Declaration calling for an end to primate research, which received a record number of signatures, met with Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas on 9 January 2008.

Animal Defenders International (ADI) representatives Jan Creamer, Chief Executive, Tim Phillips, Campaigns Director, and Helder Constantino, Senior Political Officer accompanied the MEP sponsors of Written Declaration 40: John Bowis MEP (UK, Conservative), Mojca Drcar Murko MEP (Slovenia, Liberal Democrat) and Jens Holm MEP (Sweden, Nordic Green Left). The meeting was held in the Berlaymont, European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels.

Written Declaration 40, championed by ADI, was formally adopted by the European Parliament in late 2007 after being signed by a staggering 433 MEPs (a record number of signatures on an animal protection measure). It “Urges the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to use the revision process of Directive 86/609/EC as an opportunity to:

(a)make ending the use of apes and wild-caught monkeys in scientific experiments an urgent priority,

(b)establish a timetable for replacing the use of all primates in scientific experiments with alternatives;”

Mr Dimas thanked the delegation for their important awareness campaign, which has highlighted the use of over 10,500 monkeys in European laboratories, and the potential for adoption of alternative, non-animal methods. He welcomed the support of the European Parliament for changes to European Directive 86/609/EEC, and was pleased that a significant majority of MEPs had signed Written Declaration 40.

Commissioner Dimas also stated that the proposals for a revision of Directive 86/609/EEC on the use of animals in experiments elaborated will be a major step forward for the protection of laboratory animals in Europe.

The ADI team and MEPs pressed Mr Dimas to ensure that plans for a timetable to phase out primate tests were included in the revision of Directive 86/609. Mr Dimas acknowledged that some form of pressure could be needed in relation to animals used for experimental purposes.

The meeting also discussed ending the use of Great Apes and wild-caught monkeys in experiments in European laboratories, the adoption of scientifically advanced non-animal techniques, and other matters arising from the revision of the rules governing animal experiments (Directive 86/609/EEC).

The European Commission is expected to adopt its proposed revision of the legislation soon.rnrnJan Creamer said: “Our campaign to end experiments on primates has received overwhelming public support and has the strong backing of the European Parliament. We are having a positive dialogue with the Commission and hope that this year will see a significant change in the use of laboratory animals in Europe. The Commission and thereafter the Council of Ministers have in their hands a remarkable opportunity to end the suffering of significant numbers of laboratory animals, and to push Europe to the forefront of the latest human based medical research. We sincerely hope this opportunity is seized.”


Photo available of EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, MEPs Mojca Drcar Murko, John Bowis MEP and Jens Holm MEP and ADI chief executive Jan Creamer.

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