The European Commission has sent written warnings to France, Belgium and the Netherlands for failing to comply with its regulations on animal experiments. The law seeks to provide common measures across the European Union for the protection of animals used in experiments or for other scientific purposes.
The governments of France and the Netherlands have both received a letter of formal notice, or a first written warning. In the case of France, the Commission found that an article of the EU law relating to the minimising of harm and suffering for animals used in experiments had not been correctly transposed into national legislation.
One of the areas where the Netherlands had failed to adopt adequate measures relates to the mutual recognition of experiments, said the Commission. This article aims to ensure that, where possible, data from experiments carried out in one Member States is recognised by others in order to avoid duplication of testing and unnecessary animal use.
Belgium, meanwhile, received a second reasoned opinion, or final written warning. The Commission investigated a complaint that the Belgian authorities were allowing too wide a scope for exemptions for the experimental use of cats and dogs that were not bred for the purpose, and found that the country was in breach of the legislation.