Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

House of Lords back proposals for Animal Testing 21 July, 2009

Posted: 21 July 2009. Updated: 21 July 2009

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate release 21 July 2009

House of Lords back proposals for Animal Testing

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) today welcomed the conclusions of the House of Lords European Union Committee, which has supported the key changes that the NAVS wished to see in the proposed new Directive on animal experiments.

The House of Lords EU Committee has sent today a preliminary opinion to Home Office Minister Lord West of Spithead on the new European Directive on animal testing. This opinion is based on a public consultation and a series of hearings where the NAVS gave evidence.

The Peers advise the Home Office to broadly support the most important articles of the European Commission’s draft new Directive. In particular, the EU Committee says that:

  • The revision of the animal testing Directive is needed, and a full authorization process for procedures, including an ethical review, should apply across the EU;
  • Unambiguous limitations to primate experiments are necessary, and the phase-out of the use of wild-caught primates in breeding should be supported;
  • The proposed care and accommodation standards contained in the Directive will not affect the UK’s pharmaceutical industry competitiveness and should be supported;
  • It does not believe that raising animal welfare standards in Europe will contribute to diverting animal testing in developing countries, as has been claimed by industry.

NAVS Chief Executive Jan Creamer: “We are very pleased to see that the Peers did not yield to the industry’s scaremongering, as most MEPs did in the European Parliament. It is shameful that during the European Parliament vote, primate trade and user industries spread rumours claimining that research would go abroad and people would lose jobs if welfare standards were raised in Europe, or that patients would be left without cures. The Peers found this to be nonsense and were not swayed by it. The House of Lords has made a stand for common sense. We urge the Home Office to follow the opinion of the House of Lords.”

Unfortunately, many MEPs were intimidated by these claims and voted to dramatically lower the level of protection originally afforded to animals in the European Commission’s project. NAVS provided substantial evidence to dispel the industry’s claims and is urging the Home Office to follow the opinion of the House of Lords.

The proposed Directive is now in the hands of the Council of Ministers and NAVS is pushing Member States to undo the worst amendments voted in the European Parliament.
The NAVS expects the Home Office release of the official statistics on animals experiments for the year 2008 to show a significant increase in the number of animals used.

For further information, photos, video of animals in laboratories, contact: Angie Greenaway
Switchboard Tel: 020 7630 3340.
Mobile: 07785 552548


The NAVS, Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Lord Dowding Fund have made specific proposals for the new Directive on animal research.

‘Vision for Europe’ proposals addressing the revision of EC Directive 86/609 is available here.

‘Save the Primates – Summary of the use of primates in research and the international primate trade – is available here in pdf

‘Primate Testing in Europe’ A report on the use of primates in regulatory testing in a typical European commercial testing laboratory’ (full report) is available here in pdf:

Written Declaration 40, signed by 55% of the European Parliament, calls for an early end to the use of primates in research:

The full text of the proposal to revise 86 609 EEC(released on November 5th, 2008) which governs the rules on all animal testing across Europe is available here.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), founded in 1875, is the world’s leading NGO campaigning for the use of animals in research to be replaced by advanced scientific methods.

Through its department, the Lord Dowding Fund, since 1974 the NAVS has funded scientists conducting non-animal scientific and medical research, including cancer, Parkinson’s, and more.

Animal Defenders International (ADI): With offices in London, San Francisco and Bogota, Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaigns to protect animals in entertainment, replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. Our evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.

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