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A framework program for the teaching of alternative methods (replacement, reduction, refinement) to animal experimentation

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Mardas Daneshian1, Mohammad A. Akbarsha2, Bas Blaauboer3, Francesca Caloni4,
Pierre Cosson5, Rodger Curren6, Alan Goldberg7, Franz Gruber8, Frauke Ohl9, Walter Pfaller10, Jan van der Valk11, Pilar Vinardell12, Joanne Zurlo7, Thomas Hartung1,7,13, and Marcel Leist1,14

1 Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing – Europe, University of Konstanz, Germany;
2 Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center (MGDC) for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India;
3 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Chair on Alternatives to Animal Testing in Toxicological Risk Assessment, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Division of Toxicology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands;
4 Department of Veterinary Sciences Technologies for Food Safety, Università degli
Studi di Milano, Italy;
5 Doerenkamp-Naef-Zbinden Chair on In vitro alternatives to animal experiments, Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Switzerland;
6 Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc., USA;
7 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Chair for Evidence-based Toxicology and Center for
Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dept. Environmental Health Sciences, Baltimore, USA;
8 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation, Switzerland;
9 Animal Welfare & Laboratory Animal Science and Animals in Science &
Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands;
10 Innsbruck Medical University, Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Division Physiology, Austria;
11 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences, and NKCA, Department of Animals in Science and Society, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands;
12 Departament de Fisiologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain;
13 University of Konstanz, Toxicology and Pharmacology, Konstanz, Germany; 14 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Chair for Biomedicine and in vitro toxicology, University of Konstanz, Germany


Development of improved communication and education strategies is important to make alternatives to the use of animals, and the broad range of applications of the 3Rs concept better known and understood by different audiences. For this purpose, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in Europe (CAAT-Europe) together with the Transatlantic Think Tank for Toxicology (t4) hosted a three-day workshop on “Teaching Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation”. A compilation of the recommendations by a group of international specialists in the field is summarized in this report. Initially, the workshop participants identified the different audience groups to be addressed and also the communication media that may be used. The main outcome of the workshop was a framework for a comprehensive educational program. The modular structure of the teaching program presented here allows adaptation to different audiences with their specific needs; different time schedules can be easily accommodated on this basis. The topics cover the 3Rs principle, basic research, toxicological applications, method development and validation, regulatory aspects, case studies and ethical aspects of 3Rs approaches. This expert consortium agreed to generating teaching materials covering all modules and providing them in an open access online repository.

ALTEX 28(4), 341-352
DOI: 10.14573/altex.2011.4.341

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