Animals used in animal experiments are the only animals that, allowed by law, deliberately can be caused suffering. Therefore, it is particularly important that those who perform animal experiments are controlled and that the animal experiment activities are transparent. Through Directive 2010/63/EU, the EU has required that at least one third of those who conduct animal experiments must be inspected annually. Djurens Rätt’s review shows that Sweden does not meet the requirements of the directive.
– Our review shows that Sweden fails to comply with the requirements of the Experimental Animals Directive and that the animal experimental facilities are not controlled by the County Administrative Boards to the extent that they should. Painful animal experiments take place beyond public scrutiny and therefore the controls are of the utmost importance, which means that we feel obligated to submit a report to the EU Commission, says Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt.
When there is reason for concern, the EU Commission shall undertake controls of the infrastructure and operation of national inspections in Member States. Djurens Rätt has been in contact with all County Administrative Boards and taken part of the few control plans that have been established. It turns out that only 5 of 21 County Administrative Boards have an established plan. As many as 11 County administrative Boards announce that they are not planning any inspections this year and several of them also say that they do not have any experimental animals in their county, despite the fact that Djurens Rätt has taken part of records from the Swedish Board of Agriculture that show the opposite.
– The least we can ask for is that inspections should be done regularly when animals are subjected to terrible suffering. The authorities have known about the shortcomings for a long time without doing enough to come to terms with the problems. The animals are defenseless and have no opportunities to speak for themselves and that is why we are taking a stand for them, Camilla Bergvall concludes.
After discussions with the responsible authorities, Djurens Rätt has made the assessment that no imminent change is on the way. Therefore, the organization is now submitting a complaint to the EU Commission, in which the Commission is asked to undertake controls of the infrastructure and operations of national inspections in Sweden. In the complaint, Djurens Rätt appeals to the Commission to help Sweden rectify the existing problems.