The Dutch Parliament has passed eight motions to take steps to reduce the number of animal experiments in the Netherlands. In 2016, the Dutch government pledged to develop a plan to phase out animal experiments, but it has failed to meet that objective. In June 2022, the Dutch Parliament had to step in to force the government to act. It remains to be seen whether the government will try to find new ways to avoid its responsibilities to the elected representatives, who, like their colleagues of the EU Parliament, want to see a phasing down of the antiquated and inefficient vivisection methods.
Alternative methods of animal experimentation have already been developed, so there is no longer any excuse. Computer modelling, high-tech human-patient simulators, organs on a chip, research using human volunteers, and in vitro testing are examples of these.
The eight motions passed urged the government to do the following:
- Create an action plan to accelerate the transition to animal-free innovation to contribute to better research, better medicines, and a significant reduction in the number of animals used in experiments
- Stimulate the further development of artificial intelligence to help discover non-animal methods quickly and efficiently and thus ensure compliance with the law and reduce the number of animal experiments
- Set a timetable for ending the use of animals for safety testing and inform the House about this as soon as possible
- Develop an action plan to achieve a rapid reduction in the number of animals who are killed without having been used for breeding or experiments
- Prioritise Dutch funding initiatives for animal-free innovation that contribute to an immediate decrease in animal testing
- Map out which areas of animal testing have little to no predictive value and investigate how to phase out these tests
- Incorporate the so-called OMA model – central to which is the research question and most successful method of addressing it, not the animal test – in the Transition Programme for Innovation without the use of animals
- Resolve the bottlenecks, where possible, on the route from the laboratory to practice, and report on this annually to the House.