Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

CONAM — Result In Brief

Project ID: 504776
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Belgium

Saying no to animal testing

The EU has begun work on fostering alternatives to animal testing, particularly in European countries that are not yet EU members.
Saying no to animal testing
Animal testing in science and research can be cruel, inhumane and even unnecessary. The 3Rs of animal testing alternatives have always been high on the EU's agenda. The Rs stand for reducing animal experiments, refining how animals are used in experiments, and replacing animal testing by other means. The EU-funded project 'Consensus networking on alternative methods within Europe' (CONAM) aimed to maximise results and minimise conflicts within the 3Rs strategy. It sought consensus among stakeholders and Member States involved to minimise ethically questionable practices.

One of the project's main priorities, therefore, was to foster networking that furthers the 3Rs approach and disseminate relevant information with particular emphasis on EU Candidate Countries. CONAM organised workshops and meetings in many locations, mostly in non-EU countries where the laws on animal testing are lax. It created a newsletter through the project website to instil the 3Rs and related solutions.

In addition, the project established links with other EU projects that tackle alternatives to animal testing in order to increase the pool of information available. It also encouraged education on the subject across Europe, introducing teaching initiatives in non-EU countries and Candidate Countries.

Another important project achievement was the development of a management tool to foster the 3Rs strategy. This tool aimed to help stakeholders find viable alternatives to animal testing. In 2006 the project team organised its second international workshop in Brussels under the topic 'Human tissues as alternatives for animal experiments'. It then conducted telephone and Internet surveys to assess progress concerning the 3Rs.

These initiatives should eventually help create a more humane approach to animal testing and encourage an inevitable shift to high-tech research that does not harm animals. Hopefully, Europe can set a leading example in this domain.

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