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70% of Europeans say that replacing animal testing should be an EU priority

Almost three quarters of EU citizens think the European Union should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out animal testing, according to a new polling undertaken by Savanta ComRes in June. 70% of adults in EU countries also agree that enabling full replacement of animal testing with non-animal methods should be an EU priority.

In the poll , 72% of respondents across 12 EU countries agreed the EU should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out animal tests.

At least three quarters of adults surveyed in Portugal (85%), Croatia (84%), Poland (80%), Romania (80%), Italy (79%), Germany (76%) and France (75%) agreed the EU should invest more in developing alternative methods to animal testing. 

Most clinical research still relies on some animal testing alongside other methods to ensure that a new drug or active substance is safe for humans before phase one human trials begin. This is one of the phases used to ensure that risks are minimised for patients. The Savanta ComRes poll did not ask about specific diseases.

The most recent EU report on use of animals for research reveals 30 million animal experiments took place in Europe between 2015-2017. A Commission report on the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU on protection of animals used for scientific purposes shows 12.60 million animals were bred for testing in 2017.

Dr Katy Taylor, Cruelty Free Europe Director of Science, commented: 

"The EU needs a framework to incentivise new and modern non-animal approaches that will prove meaningful for protecting citizens and the environment, and foster innovation and growth. Targets and deadlines for phasing out unsustainable practices and replacing them with better ones exist across EU policies.

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