Animal testing is the use of animals in scientific research. Such research is vital for patients with unmet medical needs.
EPF believes that properly regulated animal testing continues to be essential in many aspects of medical research, and a vital and legally required stage in the development of treatments for patients.
EPF supports animal-based research for medicinal purposes where there is no alternative, and when it is undertaken in accordance with best practice, in properly regulated research centres.
EPF also strongly supports increased investment in seeking alternatives to animal testing, in line with the “three R’s” principle:
- Reduction of the number of animals used
- Refinement of care and procedures
- Replacement of animal testing by other methods where possible.
In November 2015 EPF co-signed a statement launched by the European Animal Research Association in support of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The Statement, signed by 191 organisations, supports research using animals where alternative methods are not available, where the potential benefits to health are compelling, and where acceptable ethical and welfare standards can be met. The use of animals in research has facilitated major breakthroughs in medicine which have transformed human and animal health. The statement highlights the role of the Directive in promoting higher animal welfare standards in research across Europe.
Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, governing animal research in Europe (revising Directive 86/609/EEC) was adopted on 22 September 2010. European patient groups were active in communicating the importance of the continuation of animal research to achieve progress in finding cures and treatments for currently unmet health needs, whilst also seeking viable alternatives to animal testing.
In October EPF and its members endorsed a statement on the patients’ perspective on the use of animals in biomedical research.