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All the cross-party groups in the European Parliament were sent the ECEAE proposals for the European elections, which as we have seen with the cosmetics ban can have a very positive impact for animals. Our proposals were:
• End animal experiments for household product ingredients throughout Europe – this follows the implementation of a ban on the testing and importing of animal tested cosmetics in 2013. This offers a clear precedent for the European Commission to follow in banning the use of animals to test household products.
• Increase investment in replacement – the ECEAE is calling for 80 million Euros a year to be ring-fenced and put towards the development of non-animal alternatives. This is a small proportion of the total EU science budget but could play a part in beginning to end the use of animals in experiments.
• Set a deadline to end the “severe” testing category – European Directive 2010/63/EU outlines the tests in this category which include forcing an animal to run until he/she becomes exhausted and using repeated electric shock treatment to induce a state of ‘learned helplessness’.
• Set a target to reduce the number of animals tested – the latest EU statistics, published at the end of 2013, showed that just under 11.5 million animals were used in 2011. Although this is a slight reduction on the previous figure, we are calling for much more progress to be made when the statistics for 2014 are published.
The ECEAE received a broadly positive reception from the groups, but the joint pan-European manifestos do not make specific commitments in this area. Please see your national group's page for any pledges that they received from the parties in your country.