Civil Servants Slam EU Lab Cruelty

4/10/09

Cruelty Row Over EU Animal Test Rules

The Sunday Times. Marie Woolf Whitehall Editor

BRITISH civil servants have been shocked by the degree of suffering permitted by proposed European Union rules on animal experiments. The draft EU directive “on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes” would allow monkeys, dogs, cats and foals to be used for experiments leading to severe and lasting pain. Animals’ bones could be broken, they could undergo paralysing electric shocks, they could suffer trauma leading to multiple organ failure, they could be confined to restrict movement and they could be kept in isolation for prolonged periods. The standards would also allow organs to be transplanted between species even if this led to “severe distress”. The rules make clear that experiments would not be confined to small breeds such as beagles but include large dogs such as St Bernards. Horses and ponies bred in family stables could be used by laboratories in Europe . The directive would permit practices banned in Britain , which can continue to impose its own rules. The Home Office said it did not want to see British standards weakened. BUAV, which campaigns against animal testing, accused the EU of ignoring public concerns. Tom Holder of Pro-Test, which supports animal research, said: “Research may only be used where the benefit to humans outweighs the suffering of animals.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6860177.ece_

 

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