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1) 1. A research center for ‘bioetry’ is planned in Azambuja, Portugal
a. 20 to 25 thousand cages
— animal species not known
b. Aim: Supply animals to companies, university labs and research institutes
in Lisbon, but also to other parts of the country;
–a significant number of animals will be exported
–countries of destination and transport arrangements not known
c. Involved parties
–Caloustre Gulbenkian Foundation
–University of Lisbon
–Câmara Municipal da Azambuja
Janez Potoènik is the Commissioner Science and Research
d. Cost: 36 million Euros
–9 million from private sources, remainder (75%) from the European Union
2) ADI: European Commission guilty of hypocrisy over replacing animals in experiments
Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) have strongly condemned an announcement that the European Commission plans to help fund a massive new animal breeding facility in Portugal.
Official council documents confirm that a research lab is planned in Azambuja, a district of Lisbon. The President of the Champalimaud Foundation, Leonor Beleza, announced that up to 25 thousand cages would be built for animals for breeding and scientific experiments, including brain and cancer research.
The aim is to supply animals to companies, university labs and research institutes in Lisbon, and also to other parts of Portugal and abroad. The official documents mention exporting to Europe, especially Spain and the South of Europe, and perhaps Africa.
The new facility will cost 36 million Euros. Nine million will come from private sources. The remaining 75 per cent; 27 million, will come from the European Commission.
This sum dwarfs the amount spent on the European Centre for the Validation of Alternatives Methods (ECVAM), which received 2.2 million this year and 1.7 million in 2007. ADI has been campaigning for more money to be spent on the centre. In the last five years, ECVAM received 11.3 million Euros, which is less than half of what the EU will spend on this new lab.
The species of animals involved has not yet been released, but there is concern that if it involves primates, this would be in direct conflict with the will of the European Parliament. In September 2007, the European Parliament adopted Written Declaration 40/2007, which calls for the replacement of primate experiments with non-animal alternatives. With signatures from 433 MEPs, the declaration achieved record-breaking support. It was hoped the adoption of the declaration signalled a move away from animal testing towards non-animal alternatives. Earlier this month, the long-awaited announcement of the revision of Directive 86/609 included a ban on the use of apes and wild caught monkeys in laboratories but fell short of a phase out of primate experiments.
On that day, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “It is absolutely important to steer away from testing on animals. Scientific research must focus on finding alternative methods to animal testing.”
ADI and NAVS Chief Executive, Jan Creamer, says “It is hypocritical that the European Union could consider funding a massive new animal breeding centre, when it claims to be committed to finding alternatives for animal testing. The amount spent on researching alternatives is dwarfed by the massive sums being given to this facility in Portugal. It sends a clear and disturbing message that the welfare and lives of thousands of animals are dispensable. That is completely unacceptable.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, contact ADI / NAVS Public Relations Officer, Ally MacDonald
Tel: 020 7630 3344
Out of Hours Mobile: 07785 552548
In 2004 and 2006, Animal Defenders International inspected a large primate supply operation built by French company Noveprim/CRP in Camarles, Spain, with a capacity for 3,000 monkeys. The macaques were held in barren cages, far removed from their natural habitat. Video footage from the undercover ADI operation is available here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uLykJI9sXkE.
The original footage is available from the press office.
Further photographs of monkeys from the undercover ADI Spanish investigation are available from the press office.
The official documents detailing the Portugese project can be found here:
The 27 million Euros of European Union funding is split between three different funds; European Regional Development Fund, The European Social Fund and Cohesion Fund.
The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)
The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), founded in 1875, was the world’s first group to campaign for the abolition of cruel and futile experiments on animals. Through its sister organisation, the Lord Dowding Fund (LDF), the group promotes non-animal research by awarding grants in excess of £3 million to researchers to develop alternatives to animal testing.
With offices in London, San Francisco and Bogota, Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaigns to protect animals in entertainment, replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. Our evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.