Brussels Ban on Animal Testing Predicted to Save 20,000 Animals From Exploitation

PetMD Editorial
Published: August 03, 2018
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Image via Kachalkina Veronika/

The Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium will officially ban animal testing on cats, dogs and primates as of January 2020. As of January 2025, animal experimentation will be prohibited in education and safety testing unless deemed absolutely necessary.

According to Cruelty Free International, the litigation is expected to reduce the amount of dogs, cat and primates in animal testing by 20 percent, which is about 20,000 animals.

This change came from the combined efforts of Belgian animal protection organization Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA) and Cruelty Free International (CFI).

President of GAIA, Michel Vandenbosch, says “With this decision, GAIA witnesses the achievement of one of its key priorities during this political term.” Vandenbosch goes on to explain that their initial goal was to reduce animal testing by 30 percent, but has been since readjusted. “It’s a good start, but more needs to be done,” he says.

Cruelty Free International Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, tells CFI, “This is brilliant news from Belgium. It goes to show that it is possible for governments to move away from the use of animals in experiments.” Thew encourages the UK government to look at the changes made in Belgium policy and follow suit.

CFI created the Lead the Way campaign to help dogs from suffering in UK laboratories. To help call on the UK government to end experimentation on dogs, you can sign the Lead the Way petition.

In the United States, the use and care of animals in experiments is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. However, some organizations argue that these governing bodies provide little to no protection for the animals being tested.

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