> We attend Linz conference on using non-animal methods
We attend Linz conference on using non-animal methods
Our scientists discuss why animal testing is unethical and ineffective
Posted By Cat on 24th October 2019
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This month our science team attended the 22nd annual European Congress on Alternatives to Animal Testing held in Linz, Austria.
Scientists from many areas - academia, regulatory bodies, research institutes, the pharmaceutical industry, non-animal methods companies and animal protection organisations - gathered to share their experience and knowledge of using and developing non-animal testing methods.
Attendees discussed the ethical and scientific failings of testing on animals and challenges in the road towards a future without animal tests.
Key topics included why governments currently require that medicines be tested on animals even though there is little, if any, scientific justification for this, and what it means when large animal breeding and research institutes close for a shift towards modern, scientifically valid research methods.
Our Senior Research Scientist Dr Jarrod Bailey spoke about how testing on animals is not just unethical, but also bad science, and how the cruelty of genetically modifying animals and tests on animals do not work well to protect human health: “The stress endured by animals undergoing laboratory tests damages the quality of the information gained by the experiments. Animal tests provide little reassurance for testing the safety of new medicines, highlighting the needless suffering of the animals as well the risk of harm to people from unsafe medicines.”
Our Senior Science Advisor Dr Emma Grange also gave a talk on the European chemicals regulation, REACH, and changes that may soon come as a result of actions to tackle endocrine disrupting chemicals: “This is a hot topic in chemicals regulation and highlights the need to develop and implement non-animal methods for reliably evaluating chemical safety. If suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals are tested on animals, not only will these tests mean an increase in the suffering of animals in laboratories, such tests will not generate the insights needed to protect human health and the environment.”
Participants at the congress took part in passionate debate about how and why we must move away from testing medicines and chemicals on animals. It was a great opportunity for a new generation of scientists to talk about their wish to avoid cruel and outdated methods in their scientific careers.