The Swedish government listens to Djurens Rätt and calls for a plan to reduce animal testing
The Swedish government has commissioned its 3R-center under the Swedish Board of Agriculture to identify what further means can be taken to limit the use of animals in science, testing and education. Djurens Rätt have urged the government to take action several times. We have stressed the importance of developing a plan to phase out animal testing.
– It is gratifying that the government has listened to our demands. This is a step in the right direction, says Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt.
In addition to the millions of fish killed during so called exploratory fishing, which is a type of animal experiment under Swedish law, experiments on around 400,000 individuals are performed every year in Sweden. Mice and zebrafish are the animals most exposed to experiments, but many other species like rats, guinea pigs and dogs are also included in the statistics.
The experiments are carried out partly in basic research where researchers for example want to learn more about how different organs work, partly in regulatory testing where chemicals and foods are tested on animals before they are approved. In addition to being deeply problematic from an ethical perspective, experiments on animals are often also ineffective, expensive and unsafe.
In order to solve the ethical and scientific problems with the use of animals in science, the European Union adopted Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Member States are obliged to contribute to the development and validation of alternative methods and should take any measures they deem appropriate to encourage research in this field. It has now been over ten years since the directive was adopted and until now the Netherlands is the only country in the EU to have adopted a plan to phase out animal testing.
Djurens Rätt hopes that the new initiative from the Swedish government will finally lead to a real reduction in the number of animals subjected to unnecessary suffering in animal experimentation in Sweden every year and will continue to work to make that a reality.