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New start for animal testing at VUB
The Free University of Brussels (VUB) on Monday is again allowed to carry out testing on animals following a three-month suspension. The university is allowed to continue with the studies under close supervision, with external controls to ensure that the applicable laws and standards are respected. The VUB has at the same time invested in a brand new animal testing centre on its campus in Jette, writes Bruzz.
Monday marks the end of a suspension imposed three months ago by the Brussels minister for animal welfare Bianca Debaets after a video leaked by animal rights organisation GAIA showed evidence of animal abuse in the VUB labs. Inspections confirmed 15 violations, requiring Debaets to lay down a number of necessary measures, including a temporary suspension.
Debaets is satisfied with the measures taken by the university, and has therefore lifted the suspension. The VUB invested €100,000 in the existing animal centre to improve conditions such as temperature, humidity and the general living conditions of the animals. It also agreed to take part in a quarterly audit by an external company.
The biggest investment comes in the form of a brand new animal testing unit on the VUB campus in Jette, which was planned before the video leak. The university hopes to begin work on the new building in early 2018. The estimated cost of the project is €7 million.