Alternative approaches to animal testing – part 1

Today I’m blogging live from Brussels, from the annual conference of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing. This is a collaboration between the European Commission and industry to promote alternatives. 

Before going on to reporting from the different talks, let me clarify two key issues:

Animal testing is a very specific part of the larger concept of animal use for scientific and other experimental purposes. It means the use of animals to test substances (pharmaceutical drugs, industry chemicals etc) in order to evaluate whether it is safe to use these substances for the purpose they are intended. Research which is intended to develop those substances or understand how they can be used to treat diseases in the case of drugs, or to kill insects in the case of pesticides, is not animal testing.

Alternative approaches is a tricky expression. Alternatives are not only those which replace animals, but also those that reduce the number of animals and those that refine the way animals are used so that suffering is minimized. That is, all the 3Rs as defined by Russell and Burch in 1959 are considered alternatives.

Author: Anna Olsson

Animal welfare scientist.

5 thoughts on “Alternative approaches to animal testing – part 1”

  1. Sim, e foi David Smith quem primeiro usou o termo \”alternatives\” neste sentido amplo, no seu livro \”Alternatives to Animal Experiments\” (1978). Aliás, na declaração de Bolonha de 1999, a contribuição de Smith é reconhecida lado-a-lado com a de Russell e Burch.


  2. Voltando a um post antigo, aproveito para clarificar a questão. O David Henry Smyth responsável por trazer de novo à luz os 3Rs de Russell and Burch era à altura o Presidente da UK’s Research Defence Society (o que torna ainda mais relevante o facto de ter escrito um livro sobre o tratamento éticos dos animais em ciência). Faleceu em 1979. O David Smith nesta conferência era o presidente da FELASA, na altura.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: