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Italy taken to EU court for failure to protect lab animals

Could be fined 150K euros a day for not applying EU directive

21 January, 18:18
Italy taken to EU court for failure to protect lab animals (ANSA) - Brussels, January 21 - The European Commission on Tuesday said it will refer Italy to the European Court of Justice for failure to implement a 2010 EU Directive on the protection of laboratory animals. Italy could be fined more than 150,000 euros a day if found in violation of the directive that became effective January 1 this year.

The directive aims to improve the welfare of lab animals and to firmly anchor the principle of the three Rs - to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals - in EU legislation. Among other things, it says member States must take into account available ''scientific knowledge in respect of factors influencing animal welfare as well as the capacity of animals to sense and express pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm''.

Animal welfare is enshrined in Article 13 of the European Union treaty.

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