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13 June 2011
Opportunity for "Cutting Edge, not knife edge" as Government consults on animal testing directive
This year the UK will begin the first major revision of animal experimentation rules in over 25 years as the government brings the new EU Directive on animal testing (2010/63/EU) into UK law.
Under the banner "Cutting Edge, Not Knife Edge", the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) says this is an ideal opportunity for the government to seriously commit to the implementation of sophisticated replacements for animal experiments; advancing science whilst ending animal suffering.
Part of the Government review is a public consultation process which will be commencing today. The NAVS has launched a nationwide awareness drive to engage the public in this critical process.
Jan Creamer, the NAVS Chief Executive said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the Government to protect laboratory animals, stimulate advanced scientific techniques, and keep Britain in the forefront of international developments.
"The public consultation offers a chance for members of the public to voice their opinion on the subject of animal testing and pressure the Government to do the right thing for animal protection and welfare.
"We urge everyone to take part in this consultation by visiting the Home Office website or in writing to make your feelings known. Let’s give all of the millions of animals currently languishing in research laboratories the length and breadth of the country the voice that they so desperately need and deserve, and make a stand for their rights and welfare."
To ensure you have your say go to: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/transposition-protection-animals/ or write to Animals scientific procedures division, Home Office, 4th floor, south-west Seacole building, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NAVS are also calling for thorough political discussion regarding how the Government decides to transpose this Directive into UK legislation. The Government may issue regulations through a process which would prevent MPs as well as Peers to make any amendments. This would be unacceptable for the NAVS who are calling on the Home Office to fully involve Parliament in the transposition process. Early Day Motion (EDM) 1842 is currently being highlighted and supported through Parliament, with 10 signatories to date.
Tim Phillips, Campaigns Director for NAVS said: "It is really up to the Coalition Government whether they want UK science to be cutting edge or knife edge. A key factor is how they choose to interpret the Directive and transpose it into law.
"We want them to move the country towards modern, reliable non-animal research techniques – literally the cutting edge of science and move away from outdated animal research. Alternative methods can provide robust, relevant and accurate results faster and more cost effectively, without animal suffering."
When responding please state whether you are responding as an individual or whether you are representing the views of an organisation. If responding on behalf of an organisation, please make it clear who the organisation represents and, where applicable, how the views of members were assembled. The consultation will run for 12 weeks. The closing date for responses is 5 September 2011.
The deadline for transposition is November 2012 and all Member States will have to apply the provisions as of 1st January 2013.