Creation of a platform for methods used as alternatives to animal testing [ALTDATA]

Last updated on 16-3-2018 by Daisy Tysmans
April 15, 2017
October 14, 2019

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In short

For many decades, animals have been used by researchers in their quest to unravel complex scientific puzzles. However, pressure to limit the use of animals in research is rising due to ethical, scientific and economic reasons. As a result, many alternative methods to animal testing have been developed, including computer models and test methods solely based on cells or tissues. Unfortunately, existing knowledge on these alternatives is fragmented. The Altdata project aims to collect the knowledge on alternative methods available in Flanders and to integrate the acquired information in a larger platform.

Project summary

In 2015, about 250 000 animals were used in Flanders for diverse scientific and educational purposes. However, the use of animals for scientific research is under pressure due to ethical, scientific and economic constraints. Furthermore, legislation related to animal testing has become more stringent over the last decades.

According to EU Directive 2010/63 and the corresponding Belgian Royal Degree (29/05/2013), animals can only be used for scientific or educational purposes in case no alternative for the animal test is available. Over the last years, much progress has been made in the field of alternatives and many valuable in chemico, in silico and in vitro methods have been developed. Unfortunately, existing knowledge on alternative methods is extremely fragmented and communication on the topic between different research institutes is often lacking. The Altdata project will therefore collect and evaluate the knowledge on alternative methods available in Flanders and centralise this information into a database. The Flemish database will be integrated in the already existing and publicly available database of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM DB-ALM).

By mapping and centralising the existing knowledge on alternative methods in Flanders and integrating it in a European context, the project will enhance the application of existing and the development of new alternative methods. Importantly, the project will not be restricted to the creation of the database but will also focus on the integration of this database within a larger platform related to alternative methods. This platform will ensure the follow-up of the current project and will embrace many different aspects of this complex topic including education and training, dissemination of information, support of policy decision related to animal experiments, etc.

Associated Health Topics

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