Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Brexit and Animals

Posted: 10 April 2017


In March, with a coalition of animal groups (ADI, APA, Cats Protection, CIWF, OneKind, The Donkey Sanctuary, RSPCA, USPCA, WAP, WHW) we presented a ten point plan at the House of Lords to ensure animal protection is not lost in the Brexit negotiations. Speakers included Baroness Parminter, Sir Roger Gale MP, Hilary Benn MP.

The UK has still not fully implemented the last EU Directive on animal experiments and animal experimenters are likely to see a chance to remove what they claim is “red tape” but in real terms represents what little restrictions and scrutiny there is on animal research. Areas such as “retrospective review” of experiments demanded by the EU Directive are likely to challenged over time, if not straight away. There are further complexities within the EU Cosmetics Directive. Whilst UK resuming cosmetics testing on animals appears unlikely, having ended such testing ahead of Europe as a result of our campaign, what of the ban on the import into the EU of cosmetics tested on animals? This put pressure on the rest of the world to follow suit if they want to sell cosmetics in Europe. But will the UK stand firm when negotiating its own trade deals with the USA and China?

EU Directive on animal experiments under review

The European Commission is now reviewing Directive 2010/63 which governs animal research. We have taken part in a series of consultations on how non-animal alternatives are implemented under the Directive, and how animals could be replaced in education and research. We highlighted how not enough is being done to implement replacements, due to complacency in the animal research industry and lack of wider engagement with those like ourselves seeking to drive replacement forward.

During the passage of Directive 2010/63 we secured an amendment to include ‘thematic review’, a legal mechanism to challenge and replace animal experiments. We have outlined to the Commission how thematic review can be advanced to implement non-animal methods, save animals and be more clearly realised in the next Directive.

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