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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Directive 86/609/EEC on the Protection of Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes

Susanna Louhimies

Directive 86/609/EEC regulates the use of animals for experimental and other scientific purposes in the EU. The Directive seeks to improve the controls on the use of laboratory animals, and to set minimum standards for housing and care, and for the training of personnel handling these animals and supervising the experiments. It also aims to reduce the numbers of animals used for experiments, by encouraging the development and the validation of alternative methods to replace animals methods. Since the scientific basis of the Directive dates back at least 15 years, the Commission is planning on an in-depth revision of the Directive. The Commission aims to have a first draft proposal ready by the end of 2003.