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Parliamentary questions
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1 September 2016
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-005805/2016

The Commission convenes regular meetings of the National Authorities responsible for the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU(1) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes to address difficulties and share best practice. In addition, a permanent discussion forum is available for the same purposes.

A series of documents has been developed with all key stakeholders to facilitate implementation and share best practice on the basis of the principle of the 3Rs(2) in line with the directive(3). These documents are available in all community languages to reach the widest possible audience.

The ultimate goal to end the use of animals in science is embedded in the directive. This goal is advanced inter alia through a systematic project evaluation; the obligation on both Member States and the Commission to contribute to the development and validation of alternative methods; and the establishment of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM). The yearly operational budget of the EURL ECVAM is EUR 8 million.

The EU has actively supported research into the development of alternative methods through its successive Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation. More than EUR 250 million was dedicated during FP7 (2007-2013) to research into alternatives, and several projects in this domain are already funded under the current Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (2014-2020).

Additionally, the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing(4) brings together five Directorates General(5) and seven industry sectors(6) to pool knowledge and resources to accelerate the uptake of alternative approaches in regulatory testing through better and more predictive science.

(1)OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 33‐79.
(2)Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.
(5)The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG Health and Food Safety, DG Environment, DG Research and Innovation, The Joint Research Centre.
(6)Agrochemicals, animal health, chemicals, cosmetics, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents.

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