Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
The Commission has no information on the firm Green Hill as referred to by the Honourable Member, and is not currently investigating infringement allegations.
Directive 86/609/EEC will be replaced by Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes taking effect on 1 January 2013.
It is the responsibility of the Member State authorities to correctly apply and enforce EU legislation. Therefore, the Italian authorities should be notified of any potential illegal operations. Should Member State authorities fail to take satisfactory action, the Commission would consider an investigation.
Concerning ‘registered’ dogs, Article 18 of Directive 86/609/EEC prescribes that each dog, cat and non-human primate, shall ‘…be provided with an individual identification mark…’ at the pre-weaning stage. As per the description provided by the Honourable Member, it is impossible to determine whether a breach of EU legislation has taken place.
Under the new Directive 2010/63/EU, Article 4(1) describes the Three Rs principle of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement: Member States shall ensure that, wherever possible, a scientifically satisfactory method or testing strategy, not entailing the use of live animals, shall be used instead of a procedure.
Furthermore, Article 13(1) provides that without prejudice to national legislation prohibiting certain types of methods, Member States shall ensure that a procedure is not carried out if another method or testing strategy for obtaining the result sought, not entailing the use of a live animal, is recognised under the legislation of the Union.
In conclusion, under the new Directive, the use of alternative methods is mandatory, with some specific exceptions.
-  OJ L 276, 20.10.2010.
OJ C 263 E, 12/09/2013