Thank you for your comments.
A group in Europe has presented a petition to the European Commission asking them to change legislation and ban research involving animals. We want to ensure this doesn’t happen as the use of animals in research has contributed to many breakthroughs in our understanding of Parkinson's and the discovery of current treatments. This includes a key treatment, the drug levodopa as well as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). You can read more about this here.
Parkinson’s UK believes there is an urgent need for ongoing research to advance our understanding of Parkinson’s, improve treatments and ultimately find a cure. The use of animals, such as fruit flies and fish, is currently an essential tool in this research, but we are committed to the minimum possible use of animals and to ensuring the highest regulatory standards are maintained. For example, we follow the '3 Rs' principle to reduce, replace and refine. This means:
- Reducing the number of animals used in experiments
- Replacing their use with alternative methods where possible
- Refining techniques to maximise animal welfare
I hope this helps to explain Parkinson’s UK’s position on the use of animals in medical research and why we want to ensure that this research can continue to take place in the UK and Europe.