European survey on the welfare of animals used for experimental purposes
July 9, 2006 4:44:44 PM GMT+01:00;;;'
Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Commission,

The European Commission is currently carrying out a survey on the
welfare of animals used for experimental purposes; please see the
following website for details

As a citizen of the European Union I would like to participate in this
poll. The questionnaire however, in its present form, does not permit
this. The format of question no.13 raises an important matter in the
sense that it does not allow me to express my position against
experimentation on animals independent of the fact that alternatives
exist or not. This question is indicated as "optional" which is not in
fact the case because it is impossible to proceed to validate the form
unless it is completed.

It is indeed regrettable to realise that this questionnaire does not
conform to the democratic principles of the European Union because it
only allows a certain number of European citizens to give their opinion
on the extremely important matter of the rights of laboratory animals.
And it is even more disappointing to note the European Commission's
position in taking recourse to vivisection for want of alternative methods.

May I perhaps remind you that each year one thousand million animals are
sacrificed in experimental laboratories across the globe. The figures
given by the European Union which may be consulted on the following
are largely under-estimated because they do not take into account the
following animals: transgenic animals, animals tested for military
experiments and animals used in testing raw materials for the cosmetics
industry etc.

The results obtained from animal testing are more and more
scientifically controversial cf.
Animal experimentation is dangerous for man because the animal model is not
comparable to the human model. There is a vast number of molecules which
can bring about radically different effects according to the species and
models chosen. For example, penicillin is an antibiotic which treats
infections in man yet is deadly for the guinea pig, digitaline raises
the blood pressure in dogs but lowers it in a human being etc ...
The result is that throughout the world thousands of human beings die as a
result of side effects of medication tested on the animal model. Medical
side effects constitute the fourth cause of mortality in the developed
countries. There is no lack of examples: Vioxx, Oraflex, Suprol,
Thalidomide .......

Animal experimentation is not only dangerous but immoral, contrary to
ethics and constitutes an assault on our dignity. An animal is reduced
to an object and denied all right to the respect which as a living being
should be his due.

In sending you this letter, I join together with all those who ask the
researchers, the companies and the governments to put an end to animal
experimentation and instead to promote more responsible science within
which man will find a new place amongst all living beings.

Yours faithfully,
Rosa Mertens
Animal suffering

Increasing the welfare of animals used in experiments

- Questionnaire for general public -

Please read it very well

Questionnaire English

Questionnaire German

Questionnaire French

Questionnaire Spanish


I. Background information
II. Level of welfare and protection
III. Transparency and information
IV. Freedom of research and acceptability of animal experimentation
V. Alternative methods to animal experiments
VI. EU in an international arena - research and competitiveness
VII. Feedback on the questionnaire