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Biological safety and use of animals
Laboratory animals

concerning animals used for scientific purposes

The signatories to this Declaration of intent, States Party to the European Convention for the protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, and representatives of fields concerned with the use, breeding and transport of laboratory animals – despite their differences in arguments and approach to the welfare problems raised by the general use of animals for scientific purposes – agreed on the principle of a declaration of intent as a way of establishing a common basis for a first step towards solutions to the problems met in this field.

The signatories to this Declaration of intent do not have competence for all aspects of the use, in its wide sense, of vertebrate animals for experimental and other scientific purposes. Accordingly, the Declaration specifically provides that the undertakings set forth therein apply only to the extent appropriate to the competence of the respective signatories. In this regard, for example, a signatory with competence in the field of transport endorses its provisions insofar as they apply to matters relating to transport.

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The signatories to this Declaration of intent (see list appended) recalling that the two main objectives of the European Convention on the protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes are first to guarantee as far as possible that animals are treated properly and humanely before, during and after a procedure and second to reduce and, as soon as another scientifically satisfactory method is available, to replace the use of animals - agreed to improve the breeding, keeping and use of animals in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

In particular, they agreed in collaboration and as appropriate to their competence:

- to contribute to the improvement of the breeding, keeping, transport and use of animals in accordance with the principles set out in the Convention;

- to maintain the effective system provided in the Convention for control and supervision to ensure that no procedure is carried out on animals without a clear scientific justification in accordance with Articles 7 and 9 of the Convention;

- to encourage the acquisition of animals only from establishments which provide animal housing, care and welfare compatible with the requirements of the Convention;

- to encourage and to contribute to the exchange of information on the different breeding and supplying establishments in order to allow for a careful choice of these establishments;

- to make a careful choice of the means and route to ensure that the transport is carried out efficiently to avoid delays and so as to limit the stress and the suffering of the animals.

- to provide the public with accurate information on the use of animals, in particular primates.

Furthermore in relation to primates:

- to require precise information on the origin and the provenance of the animals with the objective of limiting the use of animals to those which are purpose bred;

- to encourage initiatives and measures to end the use of wild caught primates.


States which are signatories to the Declaration of intent:
Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Organisations which are signatories of the Declaration of intent:
- Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)
- European Biomedical Research Association (EBRA)
- European Federation for Primatology (EFP)
- European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
- Eurogroup for Animal Welfare (EUROGROUP)
- Federation of European Laboratory Animal Breeders Associations (FELABA)
- Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA)
- Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE)
- International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS)
- International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE)
- World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

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