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Neubiberg, Germany

Kolar R.,Animal Welfare Academy
ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals | Year: 2015

Scientific findings have revealed how much we have dramatically underestimated the intellectual, social and emotional capabilities of non-human animals, including their levels of self-consciousness and ability to suffer from psychological stress. In the 21st century, the field of animal ethics has evolved as a serious scientific discipline, and nowadays largely advocates that the way we treat animals, both legally and in practice, is morally wrong. Politics and legislation have reacted to these facts, to some extent, but neither current legislation nor current practice reflect the scientific and moral state-of-the-art. Too often, the will to change things is watered down in the decision-making process, e.g. in the drafting of legislation. In the field of animal experimentation there have been many genuine efforts by various players, to advance and apply the principles behind the Three Rs. However, the fundamental problem, i.e. the overall number of animals sacrificed for scientific purposes, has increased. Clearly, if we are serious about our will to regard animal experimentation as an ethical and societal problem, we have to put much more emphasis on addressing the question of how to avoid the use of animals in science. To achieve this goal, certain issues need to be considered: a) the present system of ethical evaluation of animal experiments, including testing for regulatory purposes, needs to be reformed and applied effectively to meet the legal and moral requirements; b) animal testing must be avoided in future legislation, and existing legislation has to be revised in that regard; c) resources from animal-based research have to re-allocated toward alternatives; and d) the academic curricula must be reformed to foster and integrate ethical and animal welfare issues. Source

Daneshian M.,University of Konstanz | Bottein M.-Y.D.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Buckland G.,Humane Society International | Campas M.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | And 16 more authors.
Altex | Year: 2013

Aquatic food accounts for over 40% of global animal food products, and the potential contamination with toxins of algal origin - marine biotoxins - poses a health threat for consumers. The gold standards to assess toxins in aquatic food have traditionally been in vivo methods, i.e., the mouse as well as the rat bioassay. Besides ethical concerns, there is also a need for more reliable test methods because of low inter-species comparability, high intra-species variability, the high number of false positive and negative results as well as questionable extrapolation of quantitative risk to humans. For this reason, a transatlantic group of experts in the field of marine biotoxins was convened from academia and regulatory safety authorities to discuss future approaches to marine biotoxin testing. In this report they provide a background on the toxin classes, on their chemical characterization, the epidemiology, on risk assessment and management, as well as on their assumed mode of action. Most importantly, physiological functional assays such as in vitro bioassays and also analytical techniques, e.g., liquid chromatography coupled mass spectrometry (LC-MS), as substitutes for the rodent bioassay are reviewed. This forms the basis for recommendations on methodologies for hazard monitoring and risk assessment, establishment of causality of intoxications in human cases, a roadmap for research and development of human-relevant functional assays, as well as new approaches for a consumer directed safety concept. Source

Wagner K.,Animal Welfare Academy | Fach B.,Animal Welfare Academy | Kolar R.,Animal Welfare Academy
Altex | Year: 2012

European Union (EU) legislation on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes requires that alternative methods must be used instead of animal tests wherever they are available. Unfortunately, this provision is not implemented to its full extent when it comes to risk assessment of chemicals and new products prior to their authorization and placing on the market in the EU. In this study, we screened data requirements of relevant EU law regarding chemicals (REACH), biocides, pesticides, and food safety (Novel Food) and found that data requirements as part of the risk assessment do not always reflect state-of-the-art science and technology. Most of the data requirements we investigated still include testing on animals for many toxicological endpoints, even though more than 40 alternative testing methods accepted at the level of the EU or the OECD are available. This may be due to a multitude of reasons, including a shortage of both manpower to implement existing knowledge and expertise in the field of alternative methods, as well as unclear and misleading statements on the applicability and state of validation of alternative methods. In conclusion, we strongly suggest a homogeneous EU-wide approach for all areas involving risk assessment of substances with the goal of better implementing the 3Rs and complying with Directive 2010/63/EU. This also would streamline data requirements, save costs on various levels, and enhance product safety for consumers. Source

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