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European Citizens' Initiative

Stop vivisection

Submission and examination

Stop Vivisection was submitted to the Commission on 3 March 2015, having gathered 1,173,130 statements of support. See press release.

The organisers met with European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness and Director-General Karl Falkenberg, responsible for DG Environment, on 11 May 2015. See press release.

A public hearing took place at the European Parliament on 11 May 2015.

Answer of the European Commission

Decision date: 03/06/2015

Official documents related to the decision:

Main conclusions of the Communication:

While the Commission does share the conviction that animal testing should be phased out in Europe, its approach for achieving that objective differs from the one proposed in this Citizens' Initiative.

The Commission considers that the Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (Directive 2010/63/EU), which the Initiative seeks to repeal, is the right legislation to achieve the underlying objectives of the Initiative. It sets full replacement of animals as its ultimate goal as soon as it is scientifically possibly, and provides a legally binding stepwise approach as non-animal alternatives become available. Therefore, no repeal of that legislation was proposed.

Moreover, the Communication sets out four further Commission’s actions to be taken towards the goal of phasing out animal testing. These actions included a scientific conference engaging the scientific community and relevant stakeholders in a debate on how to exploit the advances in science for the development of scientifically valid non-animal approaches.

The Commission commits to active monitoring of compliance and enforcement of the legislation, and will continue supporting the development and validation of alternative approaches to the use of animals in research and testing. Dialogue with all stakeholders will continue, especially with the scientific community, to advance towards the goal of phasing out animal testing through knowledge sharing, dissemination, and education and training activities on non-animal alternatives and the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal use in testing).

Follow-up

The Commission adopted a Communication on 03 June 2015 setting out the actions it intended to take in response to the initiative Stop Vivisection. See press release.

The European Commission organised a scientific conference in Brussels on 6-7 December 2016 to engage the scientific community and relevant stakeholders in a debate on how to exploit cutting edge advances in biomedical and other research in the development of scientifically valid non-animal approaches (alternatives to animal testing).

On the occasion of the conference, the Commission reported on the progress made in implementing the follow-up actions to the initiative Stop Vivisection. See the conference report (point 5, pp. 16-20).

The Commission published a review report of the Directive 2010/63/EU in 2017. In addition, it published a report on implementation of this Directive in February 2020. These reports provided the first assessments of the extent to which the Directive is reaching its objectives and is implemented by the Member States.

Further information can be found on the dedicated Commission website.

Other information

On 18 April 2017, the European Ombudsman issued a decision concerning the initiative 'Stop Vivisection'. The Ombudsman concluded that there was no maladministration by the Commission.

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