Day: October 10, 2022

EU: EUSAAT congress: Shaping the future for humane science.

10 October 2022

Animalfree Research

This year’s EUSAAT congress gathered a large multi-sectoral community that is critically thinking about how the EU and the world will succeed in accelerating the transition to non-animal science.

EUSAAT is the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing. This society’s congress brought together representatives from the European Commission, animal protection organisations, research institutions and industry. Together, we discussed how the rising ethical and scientific concerns with animal experiments, scientific developments and legislative frameworks can play a role in facilitating a shift towards humane research, testing and education.

Several members and other participants brought to this forum worrying issues deserving immediate action. Animalfree Research is shedding light on the continued harmful use of animals in high school biology classes, while non-harmful teaching media has been around for many decades. Building on this issue, InterNICHE takes a critical look at the ‘media’ that are used for education and training in secondary, higher and professional levels, and how teaching objectives can be better met with fully humane and innovative tools and approaches. PETA draws our attention to the difficulties in getting rid of studies on animals that have been proven to be ineffective, denouncing the continuous approval of projects that use the forced swim test.

Others presented positive developments in areas where non-animal approaches can become the new normal. Doctors Against Animal Experiments explored the use of non-animal technologies in COVID-19 research and in the production of antibodies. Deutscher Tierschutzbund was part of a session and panel discussion on alternatives to the use of animal-derived materials in ‘non-animal’ models. At Charité, in Berlin, PhD students are working with patients and patients’ tissues, but they are still striving for an adequate infrastructure to carry out their work effectively. Although these practices should become the gold standard when studying human biology and pathology, the current structures continue to favour animal experiments, leaving human-based research and researchers in great disadvantage.

Eurogroup for Animals was also present at this congress to strengthen the dialogue and the community that will shape the transition to non-animal science. We presented key elements for any strategy aiming at accelerating this transition, and the role of legislation and policies to normalise non-animal science.

The Chair of the Environmental Governance and Politics group at Radboud University led us through how a transformative governance approach can help accelerate the transition to animal-free innovation. In a keynote lecture, the new professor of Evidence-Based Transition to Animal-free Innovations at Utrecht University explained how science-based evidence should guide the transition to animal-free innovations.

Besides academia and NGOs, members from the European Commission, EFSA, 3Rs centres, and many other institutions have contributed with their views on how this transition will be shaped.

Regards Mark

Sweden: Fantastic ! – Djurens Rätt Celebrates 140 Years. Big Congratulations To Them.

7 October 2022

Djurens Rätt

Since October 7, 1882, Djurens Rätt has worked persistently for the animals that suffer the most. During these 140 years of hard fighting, they and their now 50,000 members have done a lot for the animals. Here are some of the successes they have achieved together over the years.

In 1882, Djurens Rätt was formed at Stockholm Palace under the name Nordic Society to combat cruelty against animals used in science. 

In 1944, Sweden got its first animal welfare law, granting animals rights for the first time.

In 1979, a new law regarding animal experiments was introduced. Privately owned or homeless pets were no longer permitted be sold for animal testing.

In 1988, animals were given the right to their natural behaviours. The Animal Welfare Act was updated and cows were given the right to go out to graze during the summer.

In 1993, the import of wild-caught monkeys for animal experiments in Sweden was banned. As of 1998, all animal experiments must be approved by an animal experiment ethics committee. 

In 2001, fox farming was phased out in Sweden. The next step is to put an end to mink farming through the Fur Free Europe initiative . 

In 2013, the EU banned animal-tested cosmetics after 30 years of work by Djurens Rätt and other organisations. 

In 2016, elephants are no longer permitted in Swedish circuses. Djurens Rätt submitted 155,000 signatures to the government for a ban.

In 2021, all food chains will be cage egg-free. The End the Cage Age campaign reached its goal and the EU decides to phase out all cages in the EU.

In 2022, crimes against animals will be taken more seriously. The crime of aggravated animal cruelty is introduced into the criminal code and camera surveillance at slaughterhouses is investigated.

Read more at source

Djurens Rätt

Big congratulations to our animal campaigner friends !

Regards Mark

EU: World Octopus Day: NGOs unite to call for EU ban on cruel octopus factory farming.

8 October 2022

NGOs from all over the world have joined forces this World Octopus Day (8 October 2022) to call on the EU to ban the cruel and environmentally damaging practice of octopus farming.

Eurogroup for Animals and 36 other NGOs have written a joint letter to the European Commission warning that octopuses are ‘profoundly unsuited to farming and there are serious sustainability and animal welfare problems associated with the development of such an industry’. It also points out that allowing this practice would be in conflict with the EU’s own strategy on sustainable food production and calls for a ban on the importation of farmed octopus products.

The move follows announcements by company Nueva Pescanova that it plans to open the world’s first commercial octopus farm in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. These plans sparked worldwide outrage when they were revealed last year.

A powerful report, Octopus Farming – A Recipe for Disaster, released by Compassion in World Farming, shows how octopuses are highly intelligent and sentient wild animals who would suffer greatly in unnatural factory farm conditions. Solitary in nature, these fascinating animals generally live and hunt on their own. Confining them to underwater tanks would also lead to high levels of stress which could lead to aggression or even cannibalism.

In addition, the cost of farming octopus to the environment would be high and unsustainable. Octopuses are carnivorous animals that would need to be fed huge amounts of human edible fish products just to be kept alive before their slaughter. In fact, to produce one kilo of octopus meat, three kilos of marine life would be needed as feed, leading to more over-fishing and pressure on other marine environments.

Earlier this week, the European Parliament adopted MEP Clara Aguilera’s report on “Striving for a sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture: the way forward”. This vote was a missed opportunity to call for a ban on introducing new carnivorous species, such as octopus, into industrial farming systems.

This World Octopus Day, we should be celebrating these incredible wild animals rather than allowing them to be confined in an underwater factory farm. It’s time to end factory farming – not expand it. Octopuses are highly intelligent, sentient beings that feel pain and distress. They should never be forced together in factory farms while other sea life is decimated in order to rear them. The EU must ban the farming of octopuses and other cephalopods to ensure this cruel practice cannot be developed.

Elena Lara, Research Manager at Compassion in World Farming

To mark World Octopus Day, Eurogroup for Animals is co-hosting an online event with In Defense of Animals, Animal Save Movement and Plant Based Treaty, including a virtual book talk with author of The Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery on Saturday, October 8 at 18:00 CEST.

Regards Mark

EU: European Parliament: a First Conversation on “Fur Free Europe”.

6 October 2022

Press Release

A clear message of support from MEPs calling for a future without fur, while the ECI “Fur Free Europe” reaches more than 400,000 signatures in less than five months. The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals held a dedicated meeting in Strasbourg on “The case for a Fur Free Europe”: scientific experts, MEPs, Member States and civil society make their case for a new Europe without fur.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Strasbourg, 6 October 2022

In May 2022, Eurogroup for Animals, together with 80 NGOs, launched the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Fur Free Europe which has already collected more than 400,000 signatures. The ECI calls on the EU to ban fur farming and the placement on the European market of farmed fur products, since fur is unethical, unsafe and unsustainable. 

The role of the European Parliament and its elected representatives is key to turning this massive public call into reality. That’s why the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals held a dedicated meeting in Strasbourg on “The case for a Fur Free Europe”. 

After an introduction from the President of the Intergroup Tilly Metz MEP (LU, Greens/EFA), Reineke Hameleers presented the campaign on behalf of Fur Free Europe, and introduced the new report on the reasons why we need to ban fur farming and the placement of farmed fur products on the European market from public health, legal, environmental and ethical perspectives.

More than 400,000 citizens have already made it clear that fur no longer has a place in Europe. Member States are ready to back their request. Today’s exchange with experts, MEPs and the horrific but important images from the documentary complement the request. Society as a whole is ready to transition away from cruelty, Europe is ready for this move and, in order to succeed, we need the EP to be strong in its demands toward the EC. I am positive we can count on the elected representatives. 2023 can be the year we make history for the animals and for the EU.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

The presentation was followed by a partial screening of the documentary SLAY from the makers of the award-winning films Cowspiracy and What The Health. SLAY follows filmmaker Rebecca Cappelli’s journey around the world to uncover the dark side of the fashion industry: a harrowing story of greenwashing, mislabeling, and animal cruelty. SLAY provides an in-depth and eye-opening look into the realities of today’s fashion industry while pointing the way towards viable and sustainable alternatives. 

The suffering of animals in the fashion industry is greenwashed into oblivion while those skin industries are destroying the planet and harming people. SLAY aims to challenge the notion that animal skins are a fabric, and open people’s eyes to the dark realities behind some of the most sought after skins in fashion.

Rebecca Cappelli, Director and Producer, SLAY

Bo Algers, Professor emeritus at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, gave a presentation on the “Behavioural needs of Mink and Foxes in the fur industry”.

Johannes Rauch, Austrian Federal Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection intervened with a video message: “In my role as Minister of Health, I strongly push towards the realisation of the „One Health“ approach. That means we have to look at human health, animal health and environmental health as interlinked issues that strongly impact one another. I am convinced that we will have to fundamentally change this system of animal exploitation to avoid future pandemics. This is why I wholeheartedly support the European Citizens’ Initiative for a Fur Free Europe and I want to ask you to support it as well. The EU must use its power and also close the EU market to farmed fur products from outside the EU. Just like we have done with products from certain trapping methods, seal products or cat and dog fur. In order to make progress and live up to our moral standards and the responsible treatment of animals as sentient beings, I strongly urge all of you to support this common cause, support the Citizens‘ initiative and make this step possible towards the goal of a fur free Europe”.

The message echoed the information note tabled by Austria and the Netherlands during a meeting of the Council of the European Union (Agriculture and Fisheries), supported by Belgium, Germany Luxembourg and Slovakia, calling on the European Commission to  investigate the possibility for a ban on fur farming. The call to end fur farming in the EU on the grounds of animal welfare, public health and ethical considerations, was backed by a total of twelve Member States during the deliberations on this paper.


The ECI Fur Free Europe  

The report Fur Free Europe 

SLAY digital booklet

Watch the SLAY documentary

The 2021 request to end fur farming in the EU from Twelve Member States 

 Regards Mark