The study is called “Accelerating progress
in the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of animal testing through better
knowledge sharing” and has been published on 20 February 2017.
- In 2015, the
Commission identified four actions to accelerate the development
and uptake of non-animal approaches, in response to the European Citizens'
Initiative (ECI) "Stop Vivisection".
- In order to map
available knowledge, the JRC profiled over 800 knowledge sources relevant
for the 3Rs and compiled them into an electronic inventory. The inventory
covers different types of knowledge sources both explicit (e.g. websites,
publications, databases, etc.) and more tacit (e.g. organisations of events,
expert groups, etc.) and identifies who they typical target and how they
share their content.
the report states that there is room for improvement:
- There needs to
be better awareness and coordination between existing knowledge sources
- The knowledge
sources also need to have a greater outreach, to increase the
beneficiaries of the knowledge and to bring about more dialogue across
sectors and between different groups working with animals and alternative
- Education and
training opportunities relating to the 3Rs need to be increased and
- What knowledge
exists and how it can be best exploited can be better communicated to
wider sections of potential users
- The findings
provide a strong evidence-base on which to formulate collaborative
strategies to accelerate the uptake of the 3Rs and reduce the reliance on
animal testing via enhanced knowledge sharing.
- The results of
this study inform knowledge providers on how their knowledge can be shared
more effectively to accelerate progress in the 3Rs, as well as
knowledge-users on the many existing knowledge sources that they might not
be familiar with but which could help them in their daily work.
- This report
also provides a strong basis for the formulation of further activities
underpinning the actions in the Commission Communication in response to
the ECI, some of which may be supported as part of a €1 million EU pilot
project adopted by the European Parliament which seeks to promote the use
of alternatives to animal testing in the EU through information sharing
and education activities.
- As defined
in Commission Directive 2010/63/EU on the
protection of animals used for scientific purposes, an animal 'procedure' means any
use, invasive or non-invasive, of an animal for experimental or other
scientific purposes, with known or unknown outcome, or educational
purposes, which may cause the animal a level of pain, suffering, distress
or lasting harm equivalent to, or higher than, that caused by the
introduction of a needle in accordance with good veterinary practice.
- The European
Citizens' Initiative "Stop Vivisection" was signed by 1.17
million citizens and submitted to the European Commission in March 2015.
It called for a new regulatory framework to replace Commission Directive
2010/63/EU and to phase out all use of animal experiments. The initiative
also proposed that alternative methods with more relevance to the human
species should replace the animal model and be a legal requirement. In its
response to "Stop Vivisection", the European Commission
emphasised that it shares the ultimate goal of complete replacement of the
animal model, but explained that Commission Directive 2010/63/EU is
The report can be found here.