The European Commission has rejected the Stop Vivisection initiative presented with 1,173,131 certified signatures collected in all 28 Member States of the EU.
The EU said they plan to phase out animal testing but that it’s too early for a complete ban on live animals experimentation.
The Commission said that “for the time being, animal experimentation remains important for protecting human and animal health, and for maintaining an intact environment.
“While working towards the ultimate goal of full replacement of animals, Directive 2010/63/EU is an indispensable tool at the EU level to protect those animals still required. The Directive implements the Three Rs – to replace, reduce and refine animal use in Europe.”
The latest official numbers of animals used in labs in the EU is from 2011, when 11.5 million animals where used.
Sixteen Nobel laureates responded to the petitions by adding their voices to a chorus of 149 science organizations defending existing E.U.-wide rules for animal research, reported ScienceMag. However, the validity of animal experiments has been disputed by scientists worldwide for years, with many saying they have no predictive value for humans and are a waste of time and resources.
“Taking a healthy being of a completely different species, artificially inducing a condition that he or she would never normally contract, keeping him or her in an unnatural and stressful environment, and trying to apply the results to naturally occurring diseases in human beings is dubious at best. Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species. Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs and monkeys; and morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats and horses,” PETA explains.
“A recent analysis in the BMJ pointed out the lack of convincing supporting evidence to prove that animal trials benefit humans or are an effective use of resources.”
You can also read about alternatives to animal experiments here, they include organs-on-chips created at Harvard, computer models and life-like simulators.
To know more about Stop Vivisection and ways to help, please visit their website.