Belgian research organisations unite in support of animal research

We are proud to announce the release today of a Statement in support of animal research and a transparent approach in Belgium to mark World Day for Laboratory Animals (April 24th). Signed by 24 research organisations, the statement sees public and private research institutions from all three regions in Belgium unite in a pledge for openness on animal research.

In the statement, the signatories explain the important role of animals in research. They commit to work together for a transparent approach to communicating about their animal research, and to foster an open dialogue about animal research between the scientific community and the general public.

Ranging from universities to pharmaceutical companies to research institutes based in both the French and Dutch speaking parts of the country, the signatories represent the full spectrum of organisations in Belgium that rely on animal research. This degree of cooperation attests to the importance that the Belgian science sector places on improving openness and transparency.

Compared with the UK, where greater openness has already led to a higher degree of public acceptance of the use of animals in research, Belgium still has a way to go. We hope this collective statement will mark the start of a process through which we aim to encourage a climate of openness and transparency about animal research in Belgium.

Guy de Vroey, Chairman of the Belgian Council for Laboratory Animal Science (BCLAS), said:

“We are pleased to see so many different research organisations committed to improving animal research communications and promoting research interests. We hope this initiative will set a trend and encourage other organisations to participate. I am positive this new approach will have an impact on the public understanding of the role that animal research plays and the benefits it brings both for scientific research and our society as a whole.”

Kirk Leech, Executive Director of the European Animal Research Association (EARA), said:

“This is an historic statement. This widespread support for openness demonstrates a sea change in how the Life Sciences in Belgium will communicate to the public on the continued need for and benefit of animal research for scientific, medical and veterinary progress. We believe that greater openness on animal research seen here and in the UK should become the norm in all European countries.”

Full list of signatories to the statement:

Ablynx Janssen  Université de Mons
BCLAS – Belgian Council for Laboratory Animal Sciences KU Leuven Université de Namur
European Brain Council Medanex Université Libre de Bruxelles
FENS – Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Molecubes Universiteit Antwerpen
Flanders Vaccine reMYND Universiteit Gent
GSK UCB Universiteit Hasselt
ILVO – Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research Université catholique de Louvain VIB – Flemish Institute for Biotechnology
INBO – Research Institute for Nature and Forest Université de Liège  Vrije Universiteit Brussel