Following complaints with the EFTA Regulatory Authority (ESA) on the topic of blood mares in Iceland, an official letter of warning was sent by ESA to the Icelandic government on May 10, 2023. Today, the Icelandic Ministry announced that the current regulation will be repealed and the keeping and collecting of blood from pregnant mares will fall under Regulation 460/2017 regarding the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
This regulation is concerned with the welfare of animals used for scientific purposes and aims to ensure that animals used for such purposes are not subjected to unnecessary stress. According to Article 4.1, keeping of animals for above purpose is subject to authorisation, and in the event of infringements the licence can be withdrawn by the veterinary supervisory authority. Article 10.1 states that no animal experiment may be carried out if there is another recognised method that does not involve the use of laboratory animals to achieve the desired effect.
A very first but an important step!