Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The ethical arguments against animal experimentation remain ever-strong. In addition, the scientific case against the use of animals in research grows more compelling, with exponential progress in the development of alternative methods and new research technologies. The Dutch authorities recently announced an ambitious, but welcome, proposal to phase out “the use of laboratory animals in regulatory safety testing of chemicals, food ingredients, pesticides and (veterinary) medicines” by 2025, as well as “the use of laboratory animals for the release of biological products, such as vaccines” (Netherlands National Committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, NCad, 2016, p. 3). National government departments (e.g., the United Kingdom, UK, Home Office) have stated that alternatives to animals are now considered necessary for scientific as much as ethical reasons, also conceding that pressure exists within the research community to use animals in order to get published. Furthermore, only 20% of animal tests across the European Union (EU) each year are conducted to meet regulatory requirements, with the vast majority carried out as basic research (including basic medical research) or breeding of genetically modified (GM) animals at academic institutions (European Commission, 2013b).


open access book chapter