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Societal attitudes to animal research

Difficulty level

In the European Union (EU), animals are recognized to have an intrinsic value that must be respected. Since 1986, the EU provides specific legislation to protect the use of animals for scientific purposes. The Directive was extensively updated in 2010, with the aim to strengthen legislation, improve the welfare of those animals still needed in scientific procedures, as well as to firmly adopt the principle of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement). The Directive 2010/63 is widely recognized as the world’s most stringent and progressive legal framework for protecting animals used in scientific procedures. According to the Eurobarometer of March 2016 about attitudes of Europeans towards animal welfare, it is clearly recognized that animal welfare and animal protection are very important issues for European citizens.

Topics covered in this lesson
  • Case Study: attitudes towards animals may be slightly different between EU Member States