Europe (EU): European Parliament Votes to Save Countless Animals in New EU Biocidal Products Regulation.

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS INFORMATION

Brussels, 22 September 2010

European Parliament votes to save countless animals in new EU Biocidal
Products Regulation

Eurogroup for Animals applauds today’s vote by the Members of the European
Parliament on the first reading of the revision to the biocidal products
directive, which when adopted will become a regulation. A number of
significant improvements to testing rules involving the use of animals were
introduced, while ensuring a high level of protection for human health and
the environment is maintained.

The proposal for a regulation on biocidal products currently contains one of
the longest lists of animal testing requirements seen in any EU legislation,
which have to be undertaken before a product can be placed on the market.
These are outdated and inconsistent with improvements that are already a
fundamental part of other European legislation.

Eurogroup, together with a number of stakeholders, urged Parliamentarians to
use their vote to amend the legislative proposal to ensure that outdated
animal tests are replaced with state-of-the-art testing strategies that can
reduce animal use, if not eliminate it altogether for the assessment of
certain types of toxic effects. The text adopted today brings testing
requirements more in line with the 21st century and reflects the range of
replacement, reduction and refinement test methods and testing strategies
that are available today.

This is a major step forward as a typical set of tests for a single biocide
ingredient – known as an ‘active substance’ – would involve over twenty
different tests, which in total can involve up to 12,000 rodents, rabbits,
dogs and other animals. However, the Parliament did not go as far as we had
hoped and they rejected the call to eliminate redundant testing where no
guidelines exist.

“We are satisfied with the results of today’s vote. The European Parliament
has sent a strong message about testing requirements for biocidal products’
said Kirsty Reid, Eurogroup’s Policy Officer for Research Animals who went
on to add: “following the position adopted today, we call on the European
Commission and the Council of the EU to work to improve even further upon
the Parliament’s position as they continue their discussions in finalising
their position to ensure fewer animals suffer as a result of this
legislation.”

– ENDS

For more information, contact:

Martyn Griffiths, executive officer communications,
m.griffiths@eurogroupforanimals.org or +32 2 740 08 23.

Notes to editor:

Eurogroup for Animals represents animal welfare organisations in all EU
Member States. Since its launch in 1980, the organisation has succeeded in
encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection.
Eurogroup represents public opinion through its membership organisations
across the Union, and has both the scientific and technical expertise to
provide authoritative advice on issues relating to animal welfare. For more
information, visit http://www.eurogroupforanimals.org/.

A biocide active substance or product is one which kills or deters any
harmful organism by chemical or biological means. It can be a chemical or
mixture, micro-organism (bacteria, fungus etc), extract from plant.

Lethal dose 50 per cent test involves dosing animals with the quantity of a
substance that is known to kill half of the test population after a
specified time. Often known as LD50 or median dose test.

The Biocides Directive (98/8/EC) of the European Parliament and of the
Council on the placing on the market of biocidal products was adopted in
1998. The Directive provides in its Article 18(5) that the Commission will
submit, seven years after the date for transposition (May 2000) of the
Directive, a report to the European Parliament and Council on its
implementation, accompanied if necessary by proposals for its revision.
Following this, a proposal to revise the Directive was adopted by the
Commission on the 12 June 2009.

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