Urge the Dutch Government to Become a True World Leader in Animal-Free Innovation by 2025

The Dutch government is failing to make the transition to animal-free innovation. In 2016, the –then – state secretary for economic affairs set a goal for the country to become the frontrunner in innovation without laboratory animals by 2025, yet animal use has not declined.

Monkey in laboratory

Since 2016 – when the ambition to phase out safety tests on animals and become a leader in animal-free innovation by 2025 was announced – the number of procedures conducted on animals has remained the same, except in 2017, when the number actually increased. Shamefully, the much-celebrated ambition has also taken a backseat. There’s no longer any mention of the 2025 deadline, and it seems that the Netherlands’ new approach is developing non-animal methods before ending testing on animals – which could take decades.

Animal-based approaches to safety assessment are fraught with problems – some test methods date back 50 to 60 years. A pivotal report from the US National Academy of Sciences notes that the current approach to assessing the safety of chemicals – which typically involves using animals – is time-consuming and costly, resulting in an overburdened system.

The Dutch government doesn’t seem to see the urgency in ending experiments on animals. While these experiments are allowed to continue, animals are still subjected to misery, taxpayers’ money is wasted, and safety assessments remain based on an ineffective system.

Please sign our petition urging the new Dutch government to reinstate the original goal of phasing out tests on animals and becoming a true world leader in animal-free innovation by 2025.

Even if you don’t live in the Netherlands, animals will benefit from your signature.


Dear Minister,

The Netherlands is failing to act on its goal to become a world leader in animal-free innovation. Since then–State Secretary for Economic Affairs Martijn van Dam set the goal in 2016, reduction in the number of experiments on animals has stagnated. Judging by the self-evaluation of the Transition Programme for Innovation without the use of laboratory animals, it seems that the Netherlands aims to develop alternative testing methods first and only then stop testing on animals, which may take decades. Allowing ineffective tests to continue is failing humans as well as animals. Ambitious timelines are vital for achieving significant momentum for change, and the removal of concrete goals actively holds back medical progress.

I urge you to make the Netherlands a true world leader in animal-free innovation by doing the following:

  • Reinstating meaningful deadlines for phasing out the use of animals in regulatory safety testing of chemicals, food ingredients, pesticides, and (veterinary) medicines as well as the release of biological products, such as vaccines, as recommended by the National Committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes
  • Developing a clear strategy with milestones and timelines to phase out testing on animals in biomedical research, education, and training
  • Redirecting funding away from research using animals to animal-free research and testing

Please take action to phase out tests on animals immediately.


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