The Felix Wankel Animal-Welfare-Research-Award is usually given every two years by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich for outstanding experimental and innovative scientific papers aiming at or resulting in the replacement or reduction of animal testing, the general fostering of the idea of animal protection, ensuring the health and the appropriate housing of laboratory animals, pets and livestock, or supporting core research for the purpose of enhancing animal protection.
The 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences has developed an E-learning module on humane endpoints in animal research and veterinary practice. This module is available free of charge, for everyone who works with animals, on www.humane-endpoints.info. It provides both a solid basic training on humane endpoints, and practice opportunities with case studies. This E-learning will contribute to refinement by preparing the users to make well-balanced decisions regarding animal welfare and science.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 on its Predictive Toxicology Roadmap. The Agency is seeking comments on how to foster the development and evaluation of emerging toxicological methods and new technologies and incorporate them into regulatory review, as applicable.
The public hearing will be held at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, and will also be webcast. Those wishing to attend in person or view the webcast must register by Wednesday, August 29, 2018.
Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister for Education, Culture and Science has called on the Second Chamber to phase out experiments on primates in the Netherlands. The first step will be a 40% reduction of experiments on primates in the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC) in Rijswijk and a reduction of the colony size by introducing birth control. The letter to the Chamber is a response to the commissioned report "Van Aap na Beter" (from ape to better) of the Rathenau Institute.
With around 1500 primates, the BPRC is Europe's largest primate center.
The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Technical Committee Thyroid Hormone Workgroup and the European Teratology Society Thyroid Hormone Task Force have initiated a survey to collect historical data for thyroid hormone measurements from nonclinical studies. This effort aims to provide clarification and guidance regarding the collection, assessment, and interpretation of thyroid hormone data for regulatory toxicology and risk assessment. The data collected will be anonymously archived in a database that will ultimately be available for public use and incorporated into a workshop planned for spring 2019. The ultimate goals of this effort are to improve data interpretation, establish biologically relevant ranges for each assessment, and develop recommendations for best practices for thyroid assessment.
If your organization conducts or has conducted these assays and you are interested in participating in the survey and contributing to the data collection effort, please contact Connie Chen at email@example.com for more information.
On June 25, OECD adopted a set of new and updated Test Guidelines for chemicals safety testing.
Those include two new Test Guidelines on in vitro methods for fish hepatic clearance, TG 319A and TG 319B that can be used to improve in silico predictions of the test chemical bioaccumulation in fish.
Important updates to existing Test Guidelines encompass the inclusion of endocrine-related endpoints in TG 408 (90-d repeated dose toxicity study) and TG 414 (Developmental toxicity study); also Test Guidelines in the area of eye irritation and skin sensitisation have been revised to either improve predictivity of the existing method (TG 438, isolated chicken eye method) or include similar methods to those already existing (me-too methods in TG 442B, TG 442D, TG 492) ensuring more readily usable practical matter by members and Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) adhering countries.
A few other Test Guidelines have been slightly amended as well and can be accessed from the sections mentioned below:
The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) is offering student grants for EU-based PhD students to attend one of three high-profile 3Rs scientific events in 2018: EUROTOX, EUSAAT and ESTIV. These grants support students whose work is relevant to the 3Rs, but who are unable to afford the cost of attending an event.
In 2010 the NC3Rs developed the ARRIVE guidelines, a 20-item checklist covering the key information that should be included in scientific publications describing animal studies to ensure transparency and reproducibility. Despite widespread endorsement of the guidelines, there is mixed evidence of their impact on the quality of reporting. The NC3Rs have published a strategy for the revision of the ARRIVE guidelines, developed with an international working group of experts, in BMJ Open Science.
The June 2017 BioMed21 workshop, co-organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium, examined actions needed to implement a human systems-biology approach to understanding disease and improving interventions. The report from the workshop has been published in the journal Drug Discovery Today and is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29870792.
A preliminary agenda and registration are available for a workshop on Implementing Non-animal Approaches to Human and Veterinary Vaccine Testing: Achieving Scientific and Regulatory Success for Rabies and Beyond. The workshop will be held October 16-17 at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. It is co-organized by NICEATM and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a report on the submission of data from agencies to the ANimal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the National Institutes of Health. The report finds that agencies publicly report some data on animal use but do not report other data unless asked. Some data may not be reported accurately because of inadequate instructions, i.e. research with birds, activities outside the United States, and field studies outside a typical laboratory. The GAO recommends that APHIS improve its instructions. USDA stated that APHIS will take steps to implement GAO's recommendations, with the exception of clarifying reporting instructions for activities outside the United States.
The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission has replaced the rabbit pyrogen test and the guinea pig abnormal toxicity test with non-animal alternative methods for drugs manufactured and marketed in India according to The Hindu. The new guidelines will come into effect on July 1, 2018. The pyrogen test, which is used to test drug batches for fever-inducing contaminations, will be replaced by the bacterial endotoxin test or a monocyte activation test. The abnormal toxicity test, a batch test done for vaccines, which has already been stricken from the U.S. and European pharmacopoeia, can be waived if a compliance certificate is obtained from the National Control Laboratory.
Californian senators have voted for a piece of legislation to ban the sale of cosmetic products tested on animals or cosmetic products containing ingredients tested on animals from January 1, 2020. The bill, authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani, was supported by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL). The state's assembly will make a final decision on the bill by the end of September.
The Utrecht Advanced In Vitro Models (U-AIM) was officially launched on May 16, 2018. The goal of U-AIM is to become a “one-stop shop” where high potential in vitro models are being developed, validated and transitioned to stakeholders. Through a strong cooperation between scientists, students, regulators and industry, U-AIM aims to strongly reduce animal experimentation and increase market potential of innovative models. The 3Rs-Centre ULS is directly involved in the U-AIM activities.
The NC3Rs Gateway is a new publication portal on the F1000Research publication platform dedicated to the 3Rs, featuring methodology articles, reviews and source data that describe in detail how the use of animals in research can be replaced, reduced or refined. All articles will be published almost immediately and then undergo invited open peer review.
In a May 10 Federal Register notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced availability of final guidance on the benefits and limitations of the use of microsampling techniques in toxicokinetics studies. Benefits of these techniques include reducing the numbers of animals needed for these studies.
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries decided on March 30 to no longer require the chronic toxicity test on dogs for pesticide risk assessment according to the Humane Society International (HSI).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft science policy to reduce the use of animals in testing chemicals to evaluate whether they cause an allergic reaction, inflammation or sensitization of the skin. The draft policy is open for public comment until June 9, 2018.
The JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) has launched a global study aiming to provide an overview of education and training opportunities offered at high school, university and professional levels.
The prize was awarded to Dr Elisa Passini and colleagues from the University of Oxford and Janssen Pharmaceutica for developing an in silico model to predict the potential of drugs to cause heart arrhythmia.
The German society Ärzte gegen Tierversuche (Doctors Against Animal Experiments Germany) has compiled an incomplete list of research money dedicated to animal experiments or to 3Rs research in Germany.