After years of wrangling, Europe has adopted a new law to regulate the use of animals in research. (European Parliament)
The legislation, which updates a law from 1986, was passed by the European Parliament in Strasbourg today – the final hurdle in the law-making process. It marks a compromise between anti-vivisection campaigners and researchers, which was hammered out in April (see Lab-animal battle reaches truce)
As that story says:
Basic research using primates will now be allowed, for example, and animals will not have to be destroyed immediately after research procedures that cause “moderate” discomfort, as previous forms of the directive had decreed. Instead, the animals can be used in other procedures. At the same time, the draft addresses concerns about animal welfare by introducing minimum cage sizes and other measures.
The directive does ban some forms of research — those involving great apes or causing extreme and prolonged pain. But researchers can appeal for an exemption, on grounds of clinical urgency, through a special committee to be set up in Brussels.