An analysis of animal testing in Romania from a European perspective

Mihai Decun, Alina Bodnariu

Abstract


The European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used in Experiments and other Scientific Procedures, adopted at Strasbourg in 1986, was only ratified by Romania in 2006 by Law no 305. However, the process of alignment of Romanian legislation to European regulations started in 2002, when the Government Ordinance no 37 was issued and approved by Law no 471/2002. This Law regulates only experiments performed on laboratory animals, cats and dogs. The Romanian legislation forbids the use of wild animals for experimental purposes, but it does not regulate the experiments performed on farm animals. In 2008, two scientific symposiums regarding the ethical and legislative aspects of animal testing were organized in Romania (Timisoara – 16th of April and Cluj Napoca – 14th of June). These events provided an opportunity to assess the degree in which Romania fulfils the current European legislation and practice standards of animal experimentation. It was emphasized that the animal protection legislation is incomplete, and that an important part of the existing regulations cannot be enforced, which creates a gap between the scientific research activity in Romania and the one in EU. The implementation of the existing legislation requires strict regulations on the authorization and registration of breeding facilities and of institutions conducting animal research activities. Another necessary step is the creation of a National Committee for Animal Experimentation and of a National Consensus Platform for Alternatives, that would allow Romania to join the European Consensus Platform for Alternatives (ECOPA) and to collaborate with the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods – ECVAM.

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