After months of deliberation, the European Commission has agreed to accelerate the phasing out of animal testing but stopped short of a total prohibition—a decision that has drawn praise from university and industry groups but outrage from animal rights activists.
The decision was made in response to a citizen initiative that aimed to strengthen a decade-old prohibition on animal testing for cosmetics. The initiative also urged the European Union to refrain from requiring additional animal testing for chemicals and to pass legislation mandating the creation of a plan to terminate all animal testing by the end of the current legislative term.
Concern has been raised due to the insistence on phasing out animal experimentation in biomedical research, which was supported by approximately 1.2 million European Union citizens. Some members of the European Parliament and trade groups representing universities and the pharmaceutical industry argued that the initiative went too far and too fast due to the lack of alternatives in certain instances.
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