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Lab worker with latex gloves handling and testing a batch of petri dishes filled with dark blue substance
Lab worker with latex gloves handling and testing a batch of petri dishes filled with dark blue substance © CDC/ Holly Patrick, MS, MPH

Protection of Animals in Research

Scientific research using animals allows for crucial scientific progress as it leads to greater understanding and permits us to fight diseases. To ensure the best possible animal welfare, while fostering progress in research, Science Europe supports the implementation of the 3Rs: the replacement, reduction, and refinement of the use of animals for scientific purposes.

Why does animal protection in research matter?

The use of animals in scientific research is still important in specific disciplines as it improves the understanding and control of diseases. At the same time, it is crucial to take the necessary measures to ensure that animals suffer as little as possible and improve the welfare of the animals used in research.

What are the current priorities?

Science Europe supports the implementation of the 3Rs: the replacement, reduction, and refinement of the use of animals for scientific purposes. Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes currently regulates the care and use of animals used for research and sets the provisions for the replacement and reduction of the use of animals in scientific procedures and the refinement of the breeding, accommodation, care and use of animals used for research.

What is Science Europe doing to achieve these aims?

The Directive 2010/63/EU entered into force in 2010 and will soon be submitted for a review. This will help evaluate the implementation of the Directive in the various Member States and its effectiveness in protecting animals in research. Science Europe will monitor the review process and contribute when necessary.

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