Animal Replacement Science 2016
- Advances, Awareness, Applications -

Date: Friday 9th December 2016

Time: 09:30 - 17:15 followed by a drinks reception

Venue: Charles Darwin House - London

cellculture
 

Raising awareness of available technologies and approaches remains a critical aspect as we implement ever stronger Replacement programmes. It is in this capacity that the DHT is delighted to invite you to attend our third animal replacement science conference and where applicable to promote your most recently developed non-animal research methods. The remit of our third conference this year is, by design, immensely broad as we are of the strong opinion that while there are many niche areas of technology development we can all learn from each other in the cross-applicable and multi-disciplinary animal-replacement environment.

On behalf of the DHT we very much hope that you will join us for another valuable, informative and enjoyable day as we provide a platform for academia and industry to promote and critique (awareness of their limitations is also very important) non-animal research.

more general use in biomedical sciences‘the principle of replacement is the principle that, wherever possible, a scientifically satisfactory method or testing strategy not entailing the use of protected animals must be used instead of a regulated procedure’*

*The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2012 [1]

The recently released Home Office figures for the scientific procedures of living animals Great Britain 2015 [2], reported that there were 4.14 million procedures completed. Of this total figure, 2.08 million were experimental procedures and of those 30% were classified as either moderate or severe. Whilst the principles of the 3Rs remain immensely important in the biosciences there is still much work to be done to implement the most important, ‘Replacement’, where the animal isn’t required at all. The DHT strongly stands by the statement that there are not ‘alternatives’ or non-animal approaches currently available to address all areas where animals are still commonly used, such as basic or applied research or even the regulatory environment. However, there are now so many peer-reviewed articles, across almost all areas of biological research, either criticising the failing animal-model due to inter-species differences or such poor study design that the human relevancy of any conclusions made are highly questionable. Both humans and animals have much to benefit from replacement.

A recent Ipsos MORI poll investigating public attitudes to animal research in 2016 [3] revealed that while 71% accepted the use of animals in scientific research, 74% agreed that more work is needed into alternatives to animal research. While there is of course much research and validation to be done to develop the technologies and approaches that are required, the question arises that despite robust review of ASPA licensing, just how much animal research has taken place when there is actually a non-animal approach available, but it is just not known about, or only minor amendments are required to adapt an existing non-animal procedure for the novel purpose?

This question is particularly prudent when considering basic research or other areas where there is no legal requirement to use animals. Where there are legal requirements to use animals, e.g. studies to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of pharmaceuticals or other chemicals, non-animal approaches (the ‘alternatives’) must be officially ‘validated’, through organisations such as EURL ECVAM and once accepted these approaches are easily searchable through many different databases (e.g. directly through ECVAM [4] or other excellent resources such as AltTox [5]). Scientists and Research Organisations are coming together to develop the comprehensive databases for non-validated, although still ‘scientifically satisfactory’ non-animal approaches, with the ECVAM DB-ALM beginning to include methods and protocols that have more general use in  the biomedical sciences [4]. It is often the responsibility of the ASPA licence applicant themselves to demonstrate that there are no alternatives however; absence of evidence does not necessarily mean evidence of absence. Awareness is key.

[1]  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/3039/pdfs/uksi_20123039_en.pdf

[2]  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537708/scientific-procedures-living-animals-2015.pdf

[3]  https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/publications/1858/Attitudes-to-animal-research-in-2016.aspx

[4]  https://ecvam-dbalm.jrc.ec.europa.eu/beta/index.cfm/methodsAndProtocols/index

[5]  http://alttox.org/mapp/table-of-validated-and-accepted-alternative-methods/

 

 

This event is open to scientists currently applying animal replacement techniques in their research, those with an interest in using such techniques and policy makers.

The event is free to attend.  Please note credit card details will be collected during registration.
A payment of £25 will be deducted after 10th December in the event of non-attendance.

The DHT reserves the right to reject applications to attend the Conference at its discretion.