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UK must not relax rules on animal studies to harmonise with Europe, scientists say

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1106 (Published 14 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1106
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

UK legislation on the use of animals in research should not be watered down to harmonise with the EU Animals Directive, scientists and research charities have urged.

The Home Office will shortly announce its plans for bringing UK law into line with the directive, which sets standards that in many respects are less demanding than those already enforced in the United Kingdom. Animal welfare charities such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) have warned that although the directive will raise standards in other parts of the EU it must not be allowed to lower those in the UK.

Differences include a lower level of inspections than is presently the case in the UK and smaller cage sizes. But the directive …

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