Concerning bioethical issues raised by Article 13, Law No. 96 of August 6, 2013, “Criteria in view of a Governmental Decree for the fulfillment of Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of September 22, 2010”

24 January 2014


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The document responds to a query submitted by Senator Elena Cattaneo on the bioethical issues raised by the debate on animal testing, as a result of Law No. 96, August 6, 2013, Article 13 which implements Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010.
At the scientific level, the Committee reiterates the importance of animal testing as a cognitive method to study living organisms and in particular the human being. On the ethical side, it recognizes the value of reconciling, in a balanced way, different assets worthy of protection, though of a different order, such as health and the well-being of human beings, the promotion of scientific research, reducing the suffering of the animals tested and their own well-being, respecting researchers’ individual beliefs.
The NBC recommends moving forward by implementing the European Directive and stresses some controversial bioethical aspects of the Italian law (regarding the ban on xenotransplantation, substance abuse testing, the
breeding of dogs, cats and primates).
Within the animal testing context, the Committee recommends that the Italian regulatory framework be simplified, ethics committees enhanced, the researchers’ right to conscientious objection fully recognized, the so called “adoption of guinea-pigs” given effective implementation, problems linked to the
use of animals for scientific purposes should receive greater attention, urging the creativity of researchers also aimed at mitigating the impact of testing on sentient beings.
Finally, the Committee calls on media to contribute in preventing the spread of fanaticism, hoping that communication requirements are objectivity

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