The Home Office has issued a progress report on what it is doing to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. The department set out plans in a document last February, which included three strategic priorities.
- advance the use of the Three Rs within the UK;
- use international leadership to influence the uptake and adoption of 3Rs approaches globally;
- promote an understanding and awareness of animals where no alternatives exist.
The latest report says progress has been made in all three areas. This includes establishing a partnership of Government departments, funding bodies and other agencies to oversee necessary changes.
The report says: “The partnership has brought together expertise, knowledge and data-sharing around a common set of priorities and provides a strong platform to identify further opportunities to implement the Three Rs in the UK and overseas.
“It has also helped drive a more proactive and consistent approach in communicating with the public about the use of animals in scientific research.”
It says various programmes funded by the National Centre for the Three Rs (NC3Rs) have identified areas where changes in policy and practice were necessary and helped set up science-led approaches to implement them.
The report also discusses collaboration with Chinese official bodies in a bid to support an end to animal-based cosmetics testing in the country.
An opinion poll carried out last year for the UK Government showed that only three out of 10 people fell well-informed about laboratory animal use.
The report says: “Public trust in the regulatory system depends in large part on people feeling that they have the ability to get answers to their questions and to explore any concerns. Being able and willing to talk openly about the use of animals also helps signal to global industry and academia that the UK remains one of the best places for high quality life sciences research.”
A copy of the report is available online by clicking here: Home Office report