Study into the finances of animal testing and animal-free research innovations
Publication date: 12 November 2020 | Report language: NL
At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) commissioned a study into research on animal testing and animal-free research innovations. The motions for this investigation were introduced by members of the House of Representatives on 19 May 2019.
The motions expressed the wishes of MPs to gain insight into a) how much money the government spends on research with laboratory animals annually; b) how much tax money laboratory animal centers spend on innovations without laboratory animals, and c) the effects of so-called “price incentives” on reducing the use of animal testing. In addition to these motions, the question was raised whether 1% of the research money funded by the government for animal testing could be invested in animal-free research innovations.
Although four different sources were used for this study ( estimate of LNV, OCW, RIVM, ZonMW and NWO based on portfolio review,  estimate from public licensees based on their financial administrations,  estimate based on existing literature,  interviews with researchers and policymakers), the result is a rough estimate of expenditure in both animal experiments and animal-free innovations, because at present no organization systematically registers this.
The main conclusions were:
- The estimated government contribution to animal testing is 50-60 million euros per year.
- The estimated government contribution to animal-free innovations is 20-35 million euros per year.
- The introduction of a tax on animal testing is neither efficient nor effective in reducing the number of animal tests.
- Introducing a bonus on animal-free research innovations may contribute to speeding up the transition to animal-free research, but the suggested levy of 1% on animal testing does not generate enough money for this.