JRC publishes study on available knowledge on the 3Rs of animal procedures used in research and testing

The JRC has carried out a study of available knowledge on the replacement, reduction and refinement (the 3Rs) of animal procedures used in research and testing to understand how supply of such knowledge can better meet demand.

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.

Overall 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 methods
  • Education and training opportunities relating to the 3Rs need to be increased and improved
  • What knowledge exists and how it can be best exploited can be better communicated to wider sections of potential users

Main findings:

  • 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 still needed.

The report can be found here.

Date: 14/03/2017 | Tag: | News: 571 of 1588
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