STOP VIVISECTION Audition in Brussels:

a significant consensus


The hugely successful European Citizens Initiative (ECI) "STOP VIVISECTION" reached an important milestone on Monday 11th May, as witnessed by the hundreds of citizens who attended the public hearing at the EU Parliament in Brussels.

A FIRST HEARING (behind closed doors) was held at the offices of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, which was represented by Vice President Jyrki Katainen, Director General of DG Environment Karl Falkenberg and several other senior Commission executives, all of whom expressed a shared consensus on the goals of STOP VIVISECTION (the end of animal experimentation). The ECI organisers were represented by Professor Gianni Tamino, Dr Andre Menache, Adriano Varrica, Vanna Brocca, Fabrizia Pratesi and Flavien Deltort. Despite some differences with respect to a definite timeline in achieving this goal, an atmosphere of goodwill pervaded throughout this historical meeting, which brought the issue of animal testing to the attention of the heads of European decision makers.

The promoters of STOP VIVISECTION proposed a transition period of five years, culminating in the total abolition of animal testing (in the field of human biomedical research). During this transition period all available non animal test methods would be made mandatory,  all validations, whenever possible, would be done, as well as the correction of the validation procedure, not possible if based on the comparison with the animal model (that never was validated !!) but should be based on the comparison with results obtained on the human species.

The Commission expressed its appreciation to those who have completed  an ECI and its desire that such an instrument of democracy be more often used.

A SECOND HEARING (attended by several hundreds of persons) was held at the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT in the afternoon of Monday, May 11. The hearing was organized by four parliamentary Committees (AGRI, agriculture and animal-welfare / ENVI, environment and health / ITRE, industry and trade / PETI, petitions).

After the greetings of the Presidents of ENVI and AGRI  Committees and introduction of the Commission (Jyrki Katainen and Karl Falkenberg) the first to speak were the scientists of the Promoters' group: Gianni Tamino, Claude Reiss and André Menache. All three explained the scopes of the Initiative and the reasons for the actual very widely spread opposition to animal testing in the world of science.

The followong debate, entitled "Prospects for the current legislative framework, the value of the animal model for predicting human responses and alternatives to animal testing."

was divided in three "rounds". Each opened with the statements of one of the three experts (chosen by AGRI) in animal experimentation. These were:

Ray Greek, president of the American "Americans For Medical Advancement" (AFMA), Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, on behalf of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (EFPIA), and Emily Mc Ivor, for the Humane Society International.

Ray Greek and Emily Mc Ivor strongly supported STOP VIVISECTION. Ray Greek with a very precise explanation of the scientific reasons behind the Initiative. Not so - obviously - Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who, referring to her life's work, stated that the animal model should not be abandoned. The debate held in each of the rounds was fed with  numerous interventions of Deputies (the only ones who were authorized to speak from the audience). Figures show the weight of a quite tangible success for STOP VIVISECTION in Parliament: out of 29 interventions of deputies 16 were in favor, 10 against and 3 neutral.

The CONCLUSIONS of the long afternoon meeting (3:00 pm to 6:30 pm) were drawn by Gianni Tamino. He asked the Commission to be given precise and trustworthy answers, and to reject the strong contradictions existing in Directive 2010/63.

A full awareness, he said, now exists in society that defending the rights of science, defending the rights of humans for health and a sound environment, and defending the rights of animals requires us to go in the very same direction: the end of animal testing. He asked that the period "Animal testing is still necessary for the protection of human health" be deleted from the 2010/63 directive and from any other European law.

An overall evaluation of the results obtained with the Initiative "STOP VIVISECTION" can be made within a month when the official response of the EU Commission will be given to the ECI proponents.

However, at present, at the date of May 11, 2015, the STOP VIVISECTION proponents are happy to say that a positive change seems to be happening , and that they have high hopes that the decisions of the EU Commission, in June, will  welcome their issues in a satisfactory way.


To continue to be informed in the next few months about STOP VIVISECTION

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or call:

Adriano Varrica: +0039.3204549161

Fabrizia Pratesi: +0039.335.8444949

Vanna Pitcher:   +0039.3358214023