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Tag ‘pets’

No relaxation in rules on animal experiments

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Some papers are claiming that EU rules will allow the use of pets and strays in animal experiments. This is not true and below we set out why.

The origin of stray and feral animals of domestic species is unknown, which reduces their scientific value when used in procedures. In addition, they are not familiar with a laboratory environment, inducing unnecessary distress and suffering. Therefore, for scientific, animal welfare and ethical reasons they should not be used in scientific procedures. In line with that, Directive 2010/63/EU contains a prohibition on the use of stray and feral animals in procedures.

However, in some very exceptional cases, such as when investigating an affliction which is particular only to stray animals (e.g. a disease affecting stray animals only and is transmittable to humans in contact with them), it may be necessary to use them in a limited research study. However, as can be seen from the text of the provisions (below), this would be highly exceptional and always based on a clear scientific justification and on a case by case basis.
Any other testing or research using dogs and cats can only be done with animals that have been specifically bred for scientific purposes.

Article 10 Animals bred for use in procedures, states that:

• Member States shall ensure that animals belonging to the species listed in Annex I may only be used in procedures where those animals have been bred for use in procedures. [Annex I includes cats and dogs.]

However, it should be noted that Article 11 Stray and feral animals of domestic species specifically states that:

• Stray and feral animals of domestic species shall not be used in procedures.
The competent authorities may only grant exemptions from paragraph 1 subject to the following conditions:
• there is an essential need for studies concerning the health and welfare of the animals or serious threats to the environment or to human or animal health, and
• there is scientific justification to the effect that the purpose of the procedure can be achieved only by the use of a stray or a feral animal.

It is important to note that the old Directive (86/609/EEC) forbids the use of a general exemption to allow the use of stray dogs and cats. However, a special exemption without any specific criteria as to its justification required by the Directive could still be granted for this purpose. The new legislation therefore affords stronger protection to stray and feral animals.

No need to panic over alleged rabies threat, say British vets

Friday, March 19th, 2010

According to several national newspapers, Britain is under threat of rabies from Europe because EU rules governing pet travel are due to be relaxed at the end of 2011. The catalyst for the articles was a letter to the Veterinary Record by Dr Paul Burr and colleagues at the Biobest Laboratories who perform serology tests for rabies.


In a statement published today, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association said:


 “It is very important that the British public is not unnecessarily concerned or alarmed by the statement from Dr Burr on rabies.


“Last week the European Parliament voted for an extension to the existing arrangements which allow the UK to apply stricter controls on animals entering the country until the end of 2011. This allows us additional time to fully assess the risk that harmonisation of the rules on rabies poses.


“However, we do know that the incidence of rabies has been reducing significantly in mainland Europe over the last 20 years due to a very successful vaccination programme. Therefore the threat posed to the UK by animals coming into the country from other member states should certainly not cause any panic.”


Andrew Ash, Junior Vice President of the British Small Animal Association (BSAVA), added:


“We are satisfied that the measures in place will be sufficient to protect both animal and human health and this extra window of time should allow us to collect the necessary scientific evidence on the impact of harmonisation.

Euromyth: Butchers cannot give a dog a bone

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

New rules forbid dog bones (BBC News Online, 25 May 2004)
Dogs in mid Wales have a bone to pick with officials after they ordered butchers not to give customers bones to take home for their pets. Ceredigion County Council has written to shop owners about a new European Union directive restricting the supply of bones and trimmings, which have for years been regarded as a canine treat.

The EU Animal By-Products Regulation was adopted in 2002 to help ensure the safe and traceable disposal of animal parts not intended for human consumption, in order to reduce the risk of further agricultural crisis such as BSE and Foot-and-mouth. It does not stop a butcher supplying bones to individual dog owners for their pet’s consumption, provided the bone has not already been thrown away.

Pets to be pressure cooked

Sunday, March 26th, 2000

 …under the EU’s animal waste directive … it is legal to bury…dead pets only after “pressure cooking them at 130 degrees centigrade for half an hour”…
The Sunday Telegraph, p20, 26 March 2000, Christopher Booker)

This is rubbish. The animal waste Directive, in force since 1992, merely stipulates that “high-risk” material – such as BSE infected cows – be disposed of in an approved processing plant. There is nothing in the Directive to prevent dead pets, which do not present a serious risk of spreading communicable diseases, being disposed of through burning or burial.

EU seeks to outlaw 60 dog breeds

Wednesday, July 12th, 1995

Myth: ‘An obscure new EU Directive’ is seeking to stamp out some 60 breeds of pet dogs which ‘Brussels experts’ have branded ‘genetic monsters’.
Source: Europa News (Agency) (12 July 1995)

Response: This is nonsense. Neither the European Union, nor the European Commission, has any competence in dealing with the breeding of dogs.

The Council of Europe, however, is known to be revising breeding standards for certain breeds within the framework of the Convention for the Protection of Pets. Any standards agreed upon would not have to be implemented in the UK without their prior ratification by the UK Government.

1. The Council of Europe adopted the Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals in 1987.

2. The Council, based in Strasbourg, was founded in 1949 in order to defend human rights and parliamentary democracy. It is guardian of the 1950 European Human Rights Convention. The Council has no direct connection with the European Union or its institutions.

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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