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Parliamentary questions
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19 March 2012
Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-000986/2012

ERDF is not co-financing the animal experimentation centre of Lugo and no formal commitment (engagement) to do so exists.

Today the safety of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, chemicals and other substances cannot be sufficiently determined with the available in vitro test methods. Furthermore, animals are currently still needed for vital research programmes on diseases such as HIV, malaria, hepatitis and SARS, and debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and for the development and safety testing of veterinary products.

Given the continued need for animals in research and safety testing for the foreseeable future, the Commission considers that the most pragmatic approach to reducing animal experiments is through the introduction of alternative methods that eventually replace animal testing.

Currently all experiments performed on animals in the EU must comply with the provisions of Directive 86/609/EEC(1). This directive will be replaced and strengthened by Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes(2) taking full effect on 1 January 2013.

Over the last 20 years, the financial EU contribution to Three Rs(3) research amounts to some EUR 200 million. Under the current Research Framework Programme (FP7), approximately EUR 65 million has been committed so far for the funding of alternative methods. More funding should become available for the remaining calls of FP7.

(1)Directive 86/609/EEC of 24 November 1986 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, OJ L 358, 18.12.1986.
(2)OJ L 276, 20.10.2010.
(3)Replacement, reduction and refinement of animal use.

OJ C 82 E, 21/03/2013
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