Service(s) working on this project
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, such as computer models and test methods solely based on cells or tissues. Unfortunately, existing knowledge on these alternatives is fragmented. The RE-Place project aims to collect the knowledge on alternative methods available in the Flemish and Brussels region and to integrate the acquired information in a larger platform.
In 2017, 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 RE-Place project will therefore collect the knowledge on alternative methods available in the Flemish and Brussels regions and centralize this information into a database to make it more accessible to the general public. By mapping and centralizing the existing expertise the project will enhance the application of existing methods and stimulate the development of new alternative methods. The RE-Place database can also evolve into a broader platform where researchers can connect with peers and possible partners in order to initiate new collaborations.
More information: www.RE-Place.be
Added scientific value :
The RE-Place database will enable experts from different fields (e.g. science, regulation, industry, ethical committees and animal welfare bodies) to connect with peers and possibly engage in new collaborations. Overall, the database will be a useful tool to address questions like: which types of alternative methods do currently exist? Is the legislation up to date? What is a realistic vision for the future of alternative methods? In a later stage, the RE-Place database could be further extended to a broader platform, stimulating the development of and education/training in new techniques, methods and strategies.
Added value for society:
The RE-Place databank will be freely accessible. Consequently, not only scientists but also the general public can consult the database to collect information on alternative methods to animal testing. Furthermore, the RE-Place website, in which the database will be integrated, will contain general information on alternative methods, available in Dutch, French and English.