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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2009 June;129(2):85-89
A bill on animal testing: analysis, news and perspectives
Coluccio P., Russo M., Passantino A.
Medicina Legale Veterinaria Legislazione Veterinaria Protezione Animale e Deontologia Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Veterinaria Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italia
The biomedical research cannot give up animal testing. Indeed, the use of animals allowed to acquire a substantial part of the current knowledge in the medico-scientific field and to gain otherwise unattainable results. There is no doubt, therefore, that the research using laboratory animals leads to an advancement of knowledge. This does not mean, however, that the progress should always be sought in any case. Moreover, in the Directive 86/609/EEC the European legislator has protected the lives of animals avoiding their sacrifice for low value and strongly oriented economic exploitation researches. Waiting for a revision of the above Directive, the application of which in Italy is still entrusted to the Legislative Decree 116/92, Hon. Tomassini proposed a new bill on animal testing, first anticipated by Hon. Schimdt and then by Hon. Della Vedova. The proposed revision included following points: 1) to include alternative methods, versus the use of animals, as target and perspective of research policies; 2) to submit all the trials to authorization to substitute today’s simple “communications”; 3) to regulate the reintegration of laboratory animals at the end of the procedures, in order to prevent the euthanasia or death in captivity. Considering the recent Commission Recom-mendation of 18 June 2007 on guidelines for the accommodation and care of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, the authors offer an analysis of the bill and wonder if the same can lead to an effective conversion into law.