Thursday, August 1, 2013



Photo of Green Hill, beagle breeding facility, owned by Marshall Farm, located in Montichiari (BS) Italy

Great news from Italy: on Wednesday 31st July Italian Parliament approved a bill which provides significant restrictions to the European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

The bill (approved by the Italian Senate on the 8th July, approved by the Chamber of Deputies on the 31st July with 438 votes in favour and 14 against) also states the need to direct scientific research to the use of alternative methods and to consider reusing animals that have already been used in an experiment only if really necessary.

Bans and restrictions are explained in the list (see below).

Please NOTICE that:
  • The work is not finished yet, the Health Minister has to write the new law on animal experimentation, some points (see the list) may be interpreted in different ways and something could slightly change.
  • Even if Green Hill must close, Marshall Farm owns other breeding facilities outside Italy (for example B&K in the UK) so the Boycott Marshall Pet campaign goes on.
  • This amendment to the EU Directive represents a very important step in the fight against animal experimentation, but it’s not over, sure enough the Directive 2010/63/EU is a shame, since it permits, for example, the reuse of animals in experiments, the use of endangered species and other questionable practices. For this reason I invite you to SIGN the European Citizens Initiative STOP VIVISECTION (European Citizens only) and if you are not an European Citizen at least help spread the word about it on social networks.

  • The use of non-human primates, dogs, cats and endangered species is banned; except for research on human or on involved species health, carried out in accordance with the principles of the Directive 2010/63/EU, upon Health Minister’s authorization, with the opinion of the Heath Council (with this rules basic research experiments on mentioned species are banned).
  • Painful experiments without anaesthesia are banned, except for the testing of analgesics or anaesthetics.
  • The generation of genetically modified animals must consider: the evaluation of the relation of risk and benefit, the real need of the manipulation, the possible impact on animals evaluating potential risks for human and animals health and for the environment.
  • The use of animals for warfare experiments is banned.
  • Xenotransplantation is banned (in that case is not clear if it concerns only the transplant of a whole organ or even the transplant of a few cells from another species).
  • The use of animals for experiments on drugs, alcohol and tobacco are banned.
  • The use of animals for experiments in education are banned, except for post-degree studies.
  • The breeding of cats, dogs and non-human primates for experimentation is banned (this paragraph states the definitive closure of Green Hill, beagle breeding facility).
Besides, the bill also states that: new, appropriate, effective and dissuasive sanctions and penalities must be defined; the need for the development of alternative methods, which don’t include animals or use less animals or cause less pain; every year a sum of national and European funds must be destined for: the research on the development and validation of non-animal methods, the organization of formation and refresh courses for workers of the authorized laboratories; take proper measures to encourage research in the field of alternative methods with the obligation for the competent authorities to communicate, through the national database, the acceptance of the alternative methods.