07/21/21 Almost half of the animals in Europe suffer the highest levels of pain in experiments
On July 21st, 2005, dogs with broken legs from the "Beagle affair" at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine were released and adopted
- European Commission report: More than 10.5 million animals are used in experiments, there is an increase in the number of dogs
The Animal Friends Croatia Association reminds that on this day in 2005, beagles that were illegally used in experiments at the Zagreb Veterinary Faculty were released and adopted.
Unfortunately, the number of dogs used in experiments is increasing, which is confirmed by the latest report of the European Commission with statistics on the number, type and purpose of use of animals in surveys in 2018 in EU member states and Norway. The total number of animals used in experiments in European laboratories is more than 10.5 million, of which almost 26 thousand animals were used in Croatia in 2018! Compared to 2015 data, the increase in the use of dogs and primates in the EU is worrying.
In July 2005, Animal Friends Croatia launched the so-called "Beagle affair" in which they proved that at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb, experimental attempts to break bones on dogs of the Beagle breed are being carried out illegally. In a very turbulent development, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine finally handed over the dogs for adoption to the Animal Friends Croatia Association and the Association of Animal Protection Associations of the City of Zagreb. On July 21st 2005, 32 frightened and traumatized dogs welcomed their foster parents. Some of them were broken, one without an eye, one without an anus, with various untreated ailments, and their foster parents had to teach them how to walk on the grass and not be afraid of people in white coats. Despite these horrific facts and the reports filed, no one responsible for procuring and conducting the experiments has been held criminally liable to date.
"We believe that thanks to this terrible example of insensitivity in the use of animals, there has been a shift because last week's report of the European Commission states that Croatia did not use dogs for experiments in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, it still has used a huge number of most mice and rats, and then, according to the number, domestic poultry, rabbits, zebras, sheep, pigs, horses, donkeys and their hybrids and guinea pig. The data confirm an increase in the number of domestic birds and pigs used in the experiments. The number of animals used in the experiments of the so-called medium-intensity animal pain has also increased, so that more than 16.000 animals suffered in such experiments, while more than 700 of them were used for experiments of strong pain intensity, and more than 1.200 animals never recovered, ”warn Animal Friends Croatia.
The European Commission’s report on animals used in experiments in 2018 also lists, for the first time, statistics relating to animals who have been used to create and maintain genetically modified lines. 16% of genetically modified animals have a phenotype that causes them to suffer pain from their birth date and pathologies that make them weak and more exposed to stress and suffering. Two more disturbing data emerge from the report - as many as 46% of animals were used in basic research, which is not subject to any legal obligation, and almost half of the animals underwent procedures with the two highest levels of pain, moderate and severe.
In order to move towards the ultimate goal of a complete replacement of animals and in response to requests for greater transparency, the European Commission has launched the first ALURES statistical database, which offers free access to all interested parties to learn more about using animals for experiments in the EU. The data are collected by the Member States and submitted to the European Commission every year.
"We believe that such an exchange of data is an important step towards a realistic insight into how many animals are used and for what purposes in European laboratories, which has been completely hidden from the public for more than 150 years. Croatia should follow the example of Italy and completely ban the subjection of animals to new experiments that are classified as a strong level of pain for animals. Animal experiments are shameful, ethically unacceptable and it is necessary to direct the development of science towards the application of alternative methods, as required by the European directive governing their use. The European Commission must take into account the scientific requirements for the complete replacement of animals in research, ”said Animal Friends Croatia.
They conclude that it is necessary to step out of the 19th-century paradigm and encourage innovative research without the use of animals: “Animal experiments do not save human lives because of the physiological differences between humans and animals. Instead of the horrible torture of animals in experiments, it is necessary to invest in new technologies, which will encourage the development of science and only truly help sick people. "