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Our policy approach

FRAME’s policy approach to replacing animals in medical experiments

Advocating for change 

FRAME is working to strengthen UK policy to prioritise the replacement of animal research and ensure the robust review of animal use in science, as required by existing legislation. Read more below about the issues and approach we are taking to do this.

If you would like to receive copies of our MP briefings please contact our Policy Officer Jessie Hellier at Jessie@frame.org.uk

We want an overarching animal-free life science strategy across all relevant government departments that will:  

  • Prioritise replacement of animals in scientific research 
  • Maintain open streams of conversation 
  • Allow funders to focus their efforts on human-relevant methods 

This will create a co-ordinated framework for replacing the use of animals and utilising new approach methodologies in research.   

 

We want to see realistic and targeted bans on the use of animals in research. Particularly in areas that have established and validated non-animal methods, or alternative means of obtaining the required data e.g. chemical safety testing.  

We support calls from other organisations and urge the Government to commit to aspirational targets and bans to start phasing out animal use. We also support upholding and strengthening existing bans, e.g. the ban on cosmetic animal testing. 

We’re very careful in the petitions we choose to champion and share with our supporters. During our 50+ years working to end animal testing, we’ve found the most effective petitions have precise, achievable goals and encourage conversation with policymakers. Many policymakers don’t have specialist knowledge on topics like animal testing and non-animal methods so petitions with smaller milestone goals, over blanket bans, give clear actionable steps that are more likely to be adopted. 

If you see FRAME share a petition, you can feel confident we believe it will make a positive difference towards replacing animals used in medical experiments.

We actively advise MPs through briefings and letters on specific issues. We regularly attend government stakeholder meetings and submit evidence to government enquiries to urge the replacement and reduction of the use of animals in science and more focus and funding for alternatives.

Strengthening legislative provisions 

We are calling for Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to be repealed. This section currently prevents the release of any information received in confidence under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which would otherwise be allowed to be shared in response to Freedom of Information requests.  

Having this information available would allow project licence applications to be scrutinised in more detail, improving transparency. This in turn would allow for training on identifying and using non-animal methods to be improved in the future.  

We want to see high quality Non-Technical Summaries in clear, everyday language made accessible and searchable for everyone. This will facilitate a culture of transparency and openness.  

We would like these summaries to be available in the UK like how they are in the EU where there is a searchable database. This could be achieved by including the UK in the EU database if all parties agree or by creating a UK-based database for the summaries published under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.  

We want to see a structured and clear approach to searches for alternative methods as part of the licence application process to use animals in research. 

This could be achieved through strengthening how searches are reported in applications, or by implementing a mandatory searching process when completing a licence application.  

Focusing on regulatory research 

We want to see the wording of regulatory testing guidance updated in line with scientific progress and specific references to animal tests removed. Regulations should specify data requirements, not a specific approach to collect the data.  

Pre-registering pre-clinical animal trials would allow scrutiny and input from those in the industry, and problematic practices to be identified before studies are conducted, among other benefits.  

This would also reduce publication bias, ensuring all results are published rather than only successful trials, allowing for more accurate meta-analyses and helping to avoid duplication of studies. 

We believe that government policy needs to keep pace with scientific advances. There is growing evidence supporting the use of non-animal methods, yet it can take years for government guidelines and policy to be updated. In areas that have evidence of non-animal methods providing equal or better data, we believe that licences for the equivalent animal tests should not be granted, and the animal requirement removed, effectively banning these tests.   

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