European Citizens’ Initiative

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The European Citizens’ Stop Vivisection Initiative and the Revision of Directive 2010/63/EU

Andre Menache

Animal experimentation is presented to the public as an ongoing debate between research scientists on one hand, and the animal protection community on the other. An opportunity to break out of this mindset presented itself in the form of a European Citizens' Initiative, Stop Vivisection, which challenged Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of animals for scientific purposes. The manifesto of the initiative called upon the European Commission to replace the existing Directive with a new proposal that does away with animal experimentation, and instead makes compulsory the use of human data as a predictive modality for the study of human diseases and responses to drugs. Although the Initiative succeeded in gathering the required one million signatures, the European Commission ultimately rejected the proposal. However, some of the lessons learned from the Initiative may well be relevant to the revision of Directive 2010/63/EU, due to take place by 2017.
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