Will European Democracy get rid of Animal Research?

Having Democracy allows citizens to protest and within the European Union there are methods to have a debate heard. In the UK a 100,000 signatures in a population of 60 million triggers parliament to discuss the issue. In the European Union you need 1,000,000 signatures out of a population of 500,000,000 to trigger the debate. 

STOP VIVISECTION is a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) that has collected more than 1.150.000 certified signatures asking people to support a paradigm shift in the way biomedical and toxicological research are being conducted. This is the text of our request which advocates the replacement of animal testing with more accurate, reliable, human-relevant methods:

They say “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”.

In the UK animals in research have been protected by Law since 1876 and Directive 2010/63/EU is the directive that protects animals used for science. This brings Europe to a standard that has been enforced in the UK for many years. Abolishing protection of animals in research seems rather retrograde 

This week the European Union had this debate and it seems from probably biased centres that it was a bit dull, Apparently “the claims, that animal models have no predictive value for human disease, drew thin and only occasional ripples of agreement from a cluster of supporters seated at the back of the half-filled aud”itorium.

Apparently The European Parliament has until 3 June 2015 to decide what to do. 

Perhaps it should listen to the loud (Ho-Ho) and unified voice of the continent’s scientists…..and then do precisely nothing, otherwise it may simply cause things to move East and Westwards where less regulation and animals rights are in place.

MS Pharma are already moving.

They are closing or moving their MS research elsewhere maybe to countries where they think it is OK to tie mice upside down by its tail for a month. 

What you you think?….Do you care? … You Should

It seems you don’t have to go too far East to find terrible abuse.

                                              RIP Allan 

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  • Yes, I care but I have no answers. I've seen (first hand) the research done in less regulated parts of the world, it is horrific. Be it animal or human rights in the garment industry etc, it is always a race to the bottom. I feel the majority of people who are aware do care but as the solutions are not clear, would prefer not to think about it. I've worked in animal welfare in South East Asia and the only bright spots are that -on the whole- as people get richer (relatively) then the capacity to think about non human animals increases and a lot of work is taking place on the ground in these countries in lobbying for legislation. Will it work? Of that I'm not sure.

    • I would say some of the worse horrors that I have see have been from a wealthy East Asian Country….so it is a cultural thing too…at one conference some said that to get fast frozen brains they just chucked live rats into liguid nitrogen = −210 °C; −346 °F..there was a gasp from the audience. It is not the quickest way to get a frozen brain.

      However the multinationals are moving East because of less regulation and cheap labour..Unfortunately they sometimes suffer the consequences e.g. when GSK moved neuroscience eastwards and was rewarded with a load of science fraud.

    • Ah yes, that is part of the conundrum that comes with greater wealth. And is not just affecting animal experimentation. And unfortunately fraud plays a big part in what occurs, never mind the methods involved. But I do see a cultural change occurring in some countries (quite surprising which ones for anyone that only reads the Western media), but it's just the start of a very long journey. One that in the West took hundreds of years (and as you mention, cruelty still continues to this day but that's down to psychopaths on the whole) so I'm not holding my breath. I doubt it will be in my life time.

  • Well I have no problem with that if they allow to use humans instead.

    Otherwise: less research in the EU. Hooray! the USA will cheer.

    The problem is: most ppl don't suffer from diseases and don't eben know about things like e.g. MS.
    But they feel absolutly competent to vote on this topic….and change 180° if the catch a rare disease 20 years later….

  • let's face it it's going to end soon anyway….what is the point of more mouse work when we patients are willing to be used for research. sorry MD0 maybe retrain as a doc?

    • You may be willing, but if we started killing people, without doing things to try and make things safe, I think there would be a bit of an uproar.

      P.S. Furthermore, just to point out that you are not always willing, because if you were actually willing, PROXIMUS would have recruited by now.

    • MD, the reason I am not signing up for any clinical trials is that the comparators are tragically bad. I would gladly sign-up for a trial that compared alemtuzumab with stem-cell replacement therapy, but there is no way I'm wasting my brain to enter a trial where, if I'm lucky, I get a dangerous and potentially useless drug or, if I'm unlucky, I get a guaranteed useless placebo. Even trials with interferon don't seem worth the risk when we've got DMF, fingolimod, and all these other fairly safe but more effective drugs.

    • To be eligible for PROXIMUS you are already taking a DMT and all we are offering is neuroprotection or placebo on top of what you are taking.

      So if you get placebo, you are in a trial and will do better because of that and is nothing less than what you are currently getting and if you are on active drug you get chance to slow nerve damage so saving your brain.

      "I would sign up for a trial of Alemtuzumab v stem cell (HSCT)" FYI Here the grant agencies don't believe you and one of the reasons when turning down the grant was that they don't believe enough people would take Alemtuzumab for the study to work.

    • Well if the trials aren't done, we'll never know how effective drugs are and neuroprotective therapy for MS for example will be stillborn.

    • Ah I found the information. I'm not sure I'd qualify as this is based on an EDSS higher than mine and seems more aimed at SPMS. Such a shame because although my EDSS is low, I have cognitive symptoms that I do not want to get worse. When will this outdated EDSS be reformed!!

  • We care , but what solution do we have , experiment on humans directly ?! I guess the key is finding a balance to reduce animal suffering while not hampering the progress of medicine

    • In the UK, which is tightly regulated regarding animal research, I think we've got the balance about right. In other parts of the world, definitely not.

    • Dear Anon 11:48 This seems like a sensible suggestion and this is central to the principles of the 3Rs (refinement, reduction and replacement) of animals in research which is enshrined in Directive 2010/63/EU, which these guys are complaining against.

  • I suppose that's not good but then there's not many conditions as cruel as Ms so that's a good thing for the animals

  • Fortunately if the hearing at the European Parliament was anything to go by there is virtually no chance that the Commission will repeal Directive 2010/63/EU http://speakingofresearch.com/2015/05/19/stop-vivisection-initiative-fails-at-eu-hearing/

    They are apparently planning to hold a conference on animal research validity in 2017. The challenge is to avoid this becoming a pointless slanging match between oposing sides and use it instead as an opportunity for researchers like the MouseDoctor who are advocating for more rigorous animal studies to influence policy and practice.



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