Belgium ranks 4th among EU countries carrying out most painful animal tests

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Belgium ranks 4th among EU countries carrying out most painful animal tests

17 February 2020
News
Ten years after the 2010 European directive on animal testing, the EU's progress in this area is insufficient, says animal rights organization Gaia.
With 511,194 tests in 2017, Belgium is the 5th European country that has carried out the most animal experiments for scientific purposes, outside the United Kingdom, reveals a report from the European Commission published on February 5.

Belgium ranks behind Germany (more than 1.8 million tests), France (almost 1.8 million tests), Spain (725,833 tests) and Italy (569,177 tests), according to the latest available statistics from the Member States, dating from 2017.

Across the European Union, between 9 and 10 million animals were used for scientific purposes each year between 2015 and 2017. 11% of these experiments caused acute animal suffering.

Belgium is the 4th Member State to use the most painful tests on animals, still without counting the United Kingdom, which left the European Union on January 31st. Thus, 82,536 experiments subjected the animals to suffering described as "serious" by the researchers. This represents 16.5% of the tests carried out in Belgium.

In total, Belgian research has carried out 1,856 tests on dogs. On this point, our country ranks 4th, after France, Germany and Finland.

Ten years after the 2010 European directive on animal testing, the EU's progress in this area is insufficient, says animal rights organization Gaia. "An important objective of the directive is to replace laboratory animals by reducing, refining and replacing research methods. Experimental animal-free research is included in the directive as a goal. Ten years later, it turns out that few, if any, of these objectives have been achieved," said Michel Vandenbosch, president of the organization.