New European statistics on the use of animals for scientific purposes

07 February 2020


07 February, 2020 in FENS News

European Commission publishes new statistics on the use of animals for scientific purposes across the EU.

On 5 February 2020, the European Commission published a report on the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes in the Member States of the European Union.[1] This was accompanied by wide-ranging statistics[2] on the use of animals in science across the EU.

Directive 2010/63/EU aims to ensure a level playing field in the EU research industry, ensure high standards of welfare for animals bred and used for scientific purposes and improve transparency on the use of animals for scientific purposes in the EU. The Directive moreover introduces the principle of the 3Rs: to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for scientific purposes.

The statistical reports demonstrate a small decrease in the number of animals used in the period 2016-2017 and note that the main areas of animal use remain unchanged, with basic research the most significant (45%), followed by translational/applied research (23%) and regulatory use (23%).

The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) welcomes the publication of these statistics, which contribute to increasing transparency in the field of scientific research. In partnership with the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), FENS supports the European Animal Research Association (EARA) in organising workshops aiming to encourage increased openness in the field of animal research across Europe.

FENS supports the responsible use of animals in research through its Committee on Animals in Research (CARE). CARE develops resources and promotes public education in matters related to the use of animals in neuroscience.