H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S E V E N
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : A N I M A L E T H I C S
B R OW S Ewww.stopvivisection.eu
H O R I Z O N
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discussion. Each section was opened with statements from experts
chosen by the committee, namely Ray Greek, president of the
organisation Americans For Medical Advancement, Françoise Barré-
Sinoussi, on behalf of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical
Industries and winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,
and Emily McIvor, policy director for the Research and Toxicology
Department at Humane Society International.
According to the Stop Vivisection ECI, both Greek and McIvor strongly
support its vision.Whereas Greek provided an explanation of the scientific
rationale behind the request of abolishing animal experiments, Barré-
Sinoussi, referring to her work, stated that the animal model should not
End animal testing
The conclusions of the meeting were drawn by Gianni Tamino, a professor
of biology at the University of Padua, Italy, and one of the ECI organisers.
He asked the Commission for precise and trustworthy answers and to
reject the strong contradictions existing in Directive 2010/63.
Tamino added that a full awareness now exists in society that defending
the rights of science, defending the rights of humans to health and a
sound environment, and defending the rights of animals require us to
go in the very same direction: the end of animal testing.
Following consideration, the European Commission announced its official
response to the ECI in June in which it said it agreed with the sentiment
of eradicating animal testing, but disagreed about how to achieve this.
pioneering instrument introduced under the Lisbon Treaty is the
European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), a petition tool allowing EU
residents to invite the European Commission to propose
legislation in a specific area in which the institution has competency.
The latest ECI to be considered is Stop Vivisection, which has the
following objective: Considering clear ethical objections to animal
experiments and solid scientific principles that invalidate the ‘animal
model’ for predicting human response, we urge the European
Commission to abrogate Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of
animals used for scientific purposes and to present a new proposal that
does away with animal experimentation and instead makes compulsory
the use – in biomedical and toxicological research – of data directly
relevant for the human species.
The petition in support of the Stop Vivisection ECI was presented to the
European Commission in 2013. An ECI needs at least one million
signatories from at least seven EU member states to be considered, and,
according to EurActiv, the petition now has 1.6 million signatories. The
organisers say there are three core reasons for the ECI:
‘The number of doctors and researchers of international renown who
question the validity of animal experimentation, as a major scientific error
– since it has no predictive value for humans – continues to grow.
‘From this perspective, the practice of animal experimentation is: a hazard
to human health and to the environment; a brake for the development
of new methods of biomedical research based on the extraordinary
scientific discoveries of our times, making inroads everywhere; an
obstacle to the ability to tap into answers far more reliable,
comprehensive – as well as being faster and cheaper – provided by new
technologies that are relevant to humans.
‘Stop Vivisection was also launched to challenge and oppose the strong
interests of those who make profits from animal testing, without
considering either the health of citizens or the right to life, to liberty and
to welfare, of all living beings.’
A discussion on the ECI took place in Brussels in May. Hearing the views
of the delegation at the European Commission were Vice-President Jyrki
Katainen and Karl Falkenberg, director general of DG Environment,
amongst others. The presentation was followed by a debate with MEPs
organised by the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural
The second hearing, entitled ‘Prospects for the current legislative
framework, the value of the animal model for predicting human
responses and alternatives to animal testing’, included three rounds of
explores the background to ‘Stop Vivisection’, the third European
Citizens’ Initiative to be considered by the EU’s executive, and the debate in
Brussels ahead of the Commission’s policy decision on animal testing
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Ray Greek at the Parliamentary debate