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LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT #2
Dear Member of the European Parliament,
We first of all want to congratulate you on your election to the European Parliament. At the same time we ask for a moment of your attention in order to explain the meaning of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) STOP VIVISECTION, which has brilliantly succeeded in collecting more than one million signatures.
As you well know, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a new instrument of direct citizen participation in the legislative process of the European Union. Thanks to this instrument the signature of at least one million citizens may indicate a legislative process to follow, legally binding. The ‘STOP VIVISECTION’ ECI aims to achieve - from below - a path of complete withdrawal from animal testing, in favor of new advanced and reliable methods of scientific research.
Animal experimentation is based on a grotesque scientific error, if we consider that experiments carried out on other species are not predictive for the human species. It therefore is a totally unreliable method for the protection of our health, and of the environment, which is closely linked to our health.
Animal testing also is a cruel practice, applied in Europe to tens of millions of animals each year, in conflict with art. 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, according to which animals are sentient beings and as such should be protected.
Now, after the end of our collection of signatures - of which 1,150,000 have already been confirmed as valid by the member states government bodies responsible for certification (1) - the second part of the STOP VIVISECTION campaign is beginning for us.
With the support of a very large movement of scientific experts – whose numbers are growing - and of many enlightened people devoted to the defence of common good, we must now explain the importance of our vision at all political levels.
The new European Parliament and new European Commission will be required to hold a public hearing to listen to the reasons and the proposals of STOP VIVISECTION. As a result, the European Commission will provide an official response, explaining the actions it will undertake to follow the requests of more than one million European citizens.
This will also be a very important opportunity for the newly appointed European Commission to implement the new “Right to initiative” and for European institutions to take a step towards participatory democracy, in an action aimed at recovering the trust of European citizens.
To make the hearing as effective and participatory as possible, we believe that your contribution is mostly important. Our call is to actively help to prepare it, focusing the attention of both the Parliament and the relevant Commissions (and, by extension, the public opinion) on the crucial issues of STOPVIVISECTION, making the best use of all tools available for MEP's: questions, resolutions, debates ...
We would like to especially emphasize that - in the name of science and public health - a new legislation is needed to bridge the gap in science and technology which divides Europe from the United States, where the well-known report "Toxicity Testing in the 21st century: a vision and a strategy "of 2007 has laid the groundwork for a radical breakthrough in biomedical research and toxicology, free from the counterproductive, anti-scientific references of the past (see Note).
We therefore have great and urgent need for help from you and the whole European Parliament.
Please join our new appeal and promote with us any useful initiative to ensure public hearing is successful and leads to a new European Directive, which will “aim at the abolition of animal testing while making mandatory for biomedical and toxicology research the use of specific data for humans”.
A “light dossier” will soon be sent to you and all MEPs. The dossier will explain, with extensive scientific literature references, that the end of animal testing is not only a requirement of Civil society in compliance with article 13 of the EU Treaty and in line with many already adopted Community rulings, but is also an obligation for those who hold responsibility for our future: the correction of a grotesque scientific error, that has led biomedical research astray, slowing down the progress of medicine and causing damage that one day we will all have to deal with.
With our very best regards,
THE ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF STOP VIVISECTION
(1) Not all EU Member States have already completed the certification of signatures: some States are still missing. The number of certified signatures is therefore expected to grow.