Citizens want binding plan for phasing out animal tests in Europe

Almost three quarters of EU citizens think the European Union should set binding targets and deadlines for a complete phase-out of animal testing, according to new polling data commissioned by Cruelty Free Europe.

70% of adults in EU member states also agree that enabling the full replacement of animal testing with non-animal methods should be an EU priority. In the poll carried out by Savanta ComRes in June, over 70% of respondents across 12 EU member states agreed the EU should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out animal tests.

At least three quarters of the adults surveyed in Portugal (85%), Croatia (84%), Poland (80%), Romania (80%), Italy (79%), Germany (76%) and France (75%) agreed that the EU should invest more in the development of alternative methods to animal testing.

Additionally, the poll found that:

  • 76% of adults in EU member states agree that animal testing for household cleaning products should be banned in the European Union
  • 74% agree that animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients is unacceptable in all circumstances
  • 66% agree that the EU should immediately end all animal testing

Despite over 90% of new drugs that appear safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials, the most recent EU report on the use of animals for research reveals a shocking 30 million animal experiments took place in Europe between 2015 and 2017. A Commission report on the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes also shows that 12.60 million animals were bred for testing in 2017.

With the EU promoting investment in building back better sustainable research and innovation after COVID-19, Cruelty Free Europe is urging leaders to include in this strategy a comprehensive plan to end reliance on outdated animal research and prioritise funding for better, human-relevant, humane science, making the EU the world-leading powerhouse for animal-free research.

Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free Europe, says: “It’s simply not good enough that we continue to default to failed outdated and unreliable animal tests in our attempts to develop treatments for human diseases and protection from toxic chemicals for people and the environment.

“The EU must create a framework to incentivise new and modern non-animal approaches that will prove meaningful for the protection of its citizens and the environment and foster innovation and growth. Targets and deadlines for phasing out unsustainable practices and replacing them with better exist across EU policies – carbon emissions, waste and recycling for example.”

“The results of our polling show that the EU public is ready for animal testing to become a thing of the past. Now it is up to its leaders to listen and put in place a plan that will end cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals in European laboratories once and for all.”


Animalia is a member of Cruelty Free Europe. Cruelty Free Europe is a dynamic new network of animal protection groups with a presence at the heart of EU decision-making, working to bring animal testing to an end across Europe and beyond.

The organisation works with EU bodies and the public to ensure that animals in laboratories are taken seriously on the European political agenda and to campaign for humane modern science and progressive legislation.

Savanta ComRes interviewed 5653 adults (aged 18+) online from 9th June to 19th June from twelve EU member states (1223 in Germany, 1071 in France, 891 in Italy, 680 in Spain, 560 in Poland, 279 in Romania, 250 in the Netherlands, 174 in Belgium, 155 in the Czech Republic, 155 in Portugal, 108 in Denmark and 107 in Croatia).

Photo: Unsplash

References (each link will open in a new tab):

Cruelty Free Europe. 16.7.2020. Poll: 72% of EU citizens want a phase-out plan for animal tests

European Commission. 5.2.2020. Report from the commission to the European parliament and the council on the implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes in the Member States of the European Union

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