WILD ANIMAL RESEARCH – NEW LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
Keywords:Alces alces, animal welfare, capture, European Union, legislation, marking, moose, research
The European Union agreed on a directive (DIR) for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes in 2010 which was implemented by member states at the onset of 2013. The DIR applies to animals used for science or education that are subjected to pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm equivalent to, or higher than that caused by a needle. The DIR changes the legal framework for wild animal research and requires educational and training standards of staff involved in capturing, planning, or performing research. Both wild animals studied in or taken from the wild into captivity are covered by the DIR. An animal welfare body must be established that includes a scientific member and at least one person responsible for animal welfare, and they must receive input from a designated veterinarian. The DIR will aid and improve wild animal research because standards of animal welfare and research ethics must be met. Although similar standards for moose research were employed previously in Scandinavia, future moose research and conservation will likewise benefit.
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