Category Archives: Uncategorized

Germany statistics on 2017 animal use released

The total number of animals used in research in 2017 in Germany was 2.8 million, a similar level to 2015 and 2016, the latest figures reveal.

Germany is second only to the UK in its use of animals – in 2014, the total used was 3.3 million.

The figures, sent to the European Commission, show the vast majority of animals involved in the tests were rodents – 1.37 million mice and 255,000 rats.

Among other figures provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, 3,300 dogs and 718 cats were also used. 

German media focused (and in German) also on the rise in experiments using monkeys – up to 3,472 from 2,462 in the previous year.

Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner, was quoted as saying: “I want the number of experiments on animals to be continuously reduced. Animals are fellow creatures and they deserve our sympathy.”

Neuroscientists hit back at MEPs statement

The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) has responded to the recent European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals statement on the use of animals in neuroscience, which claimed that, ‘Animal testing is inherently uncertain and is a misleading indicator for human trials’.

In its own response statement FENS said: ‘The value of animal-based research for wide-reaching scientific and medical advances, including in neuroscience, cannot be overstated.’

The statement, also backed by EARA, EFPIA, GIRCOR, RSB, TVV and Wellcome, continued: ‘While there is an element of uncertainty in drug-related R&D, the use of animals in neuroscience research has undoubtedly contributed to our ever-improving understanding of the human brain and important advances in the treatment of neurological diseases.’

Italian convictions prompt calls for greater openness

Three Italian animal rights activists convicted of raiding the University of Milan animal labs have received a harsher sentence from the judge following their claim that they were acting on behalf of a ‘higher justice’ for animals.

Judge Vincenzina Greco gave the trio an 18-month sentences for the raid in 2013 (also English translation).

Commenting on the verdict, Giuliano Grignaschi, secretary-general of Research4Life, said: ‘Those who oppose research on animals don’t have the widespread social support they claim.’

Grignaschi and colleagues hope to bring Italian legislation closer in line with public support for biomedical research, by pushing for what he calls ‘a gradual approach’, starting with the publication of at least one webpage with information on the rationale and goals of the research on animals in each institution, the results obtained, and the numbers of animals used.

EARA looks ahead with strategic objectives for next five years

EARA has set out the association’s vision and mission and its strategic objectives up until to 2023, following its General Assembly in Munich, Germany.

The Strategic Review looks at the background to EARA’s founding in 2014 and its achievements. The association now has more than 70 member organisations from private and public research as well as professional bodies across 15 countries in Europe.

EARA was founded following recognition of the need to develop, establish and implement proactive communication strategies to improve public understanding and acceptability of animal research, and to help co-ordinate the sector to speak with a unified voice to decision makers in Brussels and with the national advocacy organisations.

Among EARA’s achievements are the forming of formal and informal networks, particularly in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, engagement with the EU on regulation and consultation, a social media presence in seven languages and support for the supply chain in Europe. Continue reading

Belgian scientists hit back at ‘Nazi’ slur in one-sided media reporting

Belgian researchers have countered an uncritical feature interview with animal rights activists who repeated factual inaccuracies about animal research and likened scientists to Nazis.

In response to the pieces in De Morgen and Humo (both in Flemish) the scientists refuted the claims that animal experiments are unreliable, that computer simulations and artificial intelligence are fully-fledged alternatives, that scientists just “do what they want” and that animal experiments are of no use (an attack on basic research).
Full translation of Humo article

“Presenting researchers as Nazis is all too easy when we all reap the benefits of modern medicine,”  said an article signed by Professor Rufin Vogels (KU Leuven), Professor Wim Van Duffel (KU Leuven and Harvard Medical School) and the animal research portal Infopunt Proefdieronderzoek (IPPO).

The response is as follows:

I and a number of colleagues are disappointed that for the second month in a row De Morgen forms a platform for the dissemination of incorrect information about animal testing. This time on the basis of an interview from Humo with three animal activists. Animal welfare is of course an important topic, but it is unfortunate that these three are given the opportunity to make statements about the context in which and the reasons for animal testing in Flanders, without making any comments. Continue reading

Switzerland’s 2017 animal research statistics indicate fewer animals used

The latest figures released by the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (BLV) show a decrease in the overall use of animals in biomedical research in the Switzerland’s public and private institutions.

These statistics for 2017 are made available in compliance with Swiss law and demonstrate the continuing commitment of the Swiss biomedical sector to openness and transparency about animal research, combined with an ongoing commitment to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for every project, commonly known as the 3Rs.

In particular, the figures show a reduction in the number of mice used and a 19% increase in the number of fish used. Within the overall biomedical sector, three categories – disease diagnosis, education and training, and environmental, including human and veterinary protection – show a significant increase in procedures carried out using animals. There was a decrease in the use of animals in the basic research and discovery, development and quality control categories. Continue reading

Acordo de Transparência sobre investigação animal em Portugal

A Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências em Animais de Laboratório (SPCAL) em colaboração com a EARA, desenvolveu uma proposta para melhorar a informação disponível para a sociedade sobre a utilização de animais na investigação científica.

A proposta é um Acordo de Transparência sobre a Investigação Animal em Portugal que se baseia em quatro compromissos para ajudar os centros de investigação e as universidades a melhorar as informações disponibilizadas ao público sobre esta temática.

O Acordo de Transparência tem como objetivo melhorar a compreensão e a aceitação da investigação com recurso a modelos animais por parte da sociedade portuguesa, promovendo a abertura e transparência em relação à experimentação animal. Os signatários concordam deste modo em partilhar de uma forma consistente a informação sobre a utilização de animais na investigação, bem como das suas justificações científicas, éticas e morais.

Os signatários do Acordo de Transparência Português concordariam com as seguintes obrigações:
– Colocar uma declaração referente ao bem-estar animal no website da Instituição.
– Colocar um link para o Acordo de Transparência.
– Fornecer informações adequadas aos meios de comunicação social e ao público em geral sobre as condições em que é efetuada a investigação com animais e os resultados obtidos.
– Desenvolver iniciativas que promovam maior conhecimento e compreensão da sociedade sobre o uso de animais em investigação científica.
– Reportar anualmente os progressos obtidos e partilhar experiências.

Para visualizar todas as organizações que aderiram a este acordo, Lista de Instituições_PT.

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Os signatários deste documento estão empenhados em seguir estes princípios e a promover estratégias apropriadas para a sua instituição promover a transparência sobre a utilização de modelos animais na investigação.

A investigação com modelos animais tem desempenhado um papel fundamental no avanço do conhecimento científico, médico e veterinário. O uso regulamentado da experimentação animal contribui para a ampliação do conhecimento sobre os mecanismos que regulam a nossa saúde e para perceber como se desenvolvem determinadas doenças.

Na nossa sociedade, existem pessoas que compreendem a importância da utilização de modelos animais na estratégia da investigação biomédica, mas também existe uma parte que se opõe a este tipo de investigação. Normalmente, o posicionamento negativo face à experimentação animal é devido à falta de informação e conhecimento sobre este tema.

Este acordo é baseado no trabalho prévio que começou em Portugal em 2017. Uma série de instituições de investigação portuguesas juntaram-se com o intuito de discutir como melhorar a compreensão e a aceitação da investigação animal por parte do público português. Estiveram presentes representantes da Faculdade de Ciências e da Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa, da NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, do Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, do Instituto de Medicina Molecular da Universidade de Lisboa e da Fundação Champalimaud. Nessa reunião, a EARA propôs explorar a possibilidade de desenvolver um Acordo de Transparência para orientar um passo de abertura e transparência em relação à experimentação animal em Portugal.

Como aderir ao Acordo de Transparência sobre a Investigação Animal em Portugal?

Se a sua instituição deseja apoiar esta iniciativa e assinar o Acordo de Transparência, ou em caso de alguma dúvida, por favor entre em contacto com:
– Ana Barros, Coordenador da EARA, abarros@eara.eu
– Bob Tolliday, Coordenador da Comunicação da EARA, btolliday@eara.eu 00 44 (0) 7715525535
– Ricardo Afonso, Presidente da Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências em Animais de Laboratório (SPCAL), acordotransparencia@spcal.pt

Press
Publico 21/06/18

Transparency Agreement on animal research in Portugal

The Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal (‘Acordo de Transparência sobre Investigação Animal em Portugal) is a collaborative project by EARA and the Portuguese Society of Sciences in Laboratory Animals (SPCAL).

This is an initiative inspired by the Transparency Agreement in Spain, launched at 2016 where EARA co-operated with the Federation of Spanish Scientific Societies (COSCE) and by the UK Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.At the launch on June 21, 2018, the Transparency Agreement was signed by 16 institutions including Research Centres and Universities from across Portugal. 

By signing up to the Portuguese Transparency Agreement, the signatories agree to the following obligations:
– Make a declaration concerning animal welfare on the Institution’s website.
– Link to the Transparency Agreement.
– provide adequate information to the media and the general public on the conditions under which animal research is carried out and the results obtained.
– Develop initiatives that promote greater knowledge and understanding of society on the use of animals in scientific research.
– Report on progress achieved on an annual basis and share experiences.

View here all the organisations that have signed the agreement to date.

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With the Transparency Agreement, EARA and SPCAL aim to work together to foster a climate of openness around animal research in Portugal. The four commitments ensure that the Transparency Agreement is an actionable document, which signatories can use to guide their progress toward openness on animal research.

This agreement builds on work in Portugal that began in 2017. A number of Portuguese research institutes met to discuss how to improve the Portuguese public’s understanding and acceptance of animal research. At this meeting were representatives from the Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon, Nova Medical School Lisbon, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, the Instituto de Medicina Molecular and the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. At the meeting EARA proposed to explore the possibility of developing a Transparency Agreement to guide efforts on openness on animal research in Portugal.

If your institution wishes to support this initiative and sign the Transparency Agreement, or if you have any questions, please contact:
– Ana Barros, EARA co-ordinator, abarros@eara.eu
– Bob Tolliday, EARA Communications Coordinator, btolliday@eara.eu 00 44 (0) 7715525535
– Ricardo Afonso, President of the Portuguese Society of Sciences in Laboratory Animals (SPCAL), acordotransparencia@spcal.pt

EARA privacy policy

We will not share your personal information with anyone and you can unsubscribe from our communications at any time.

Introduction

This privacy notice sets out how EARA uses and protects all personal data you provide us. We are committed to protecting your privacy and we want you to be assured that your data is managed properly. Any personal data you provide to us will be used lawfully and in accordance with this privacy notice, and our privacy policy.

We respect all personal data you choose to share with us, including that which we may obtain from other sources, and we will ensure it is stored safely and processed fairly and lawfully in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the General Data Protection Regulation (from May 2018). [Referred to as DPA/GDPR in this notice].

We aim to be clear when we collect your data, (and throughout your involvement with EARA), about how we intend to use it, and will not do anything with your personal data that you wouldn’t reasonably expect as a scientist, press contact, or other stakeholder.

Developing a good relationship and better understanding of our members and contacts through correct and legal use of your personal data to help ensure accurate communications on biomedical animal research using animals and achieve the objectives of EARA. We aim to track your involvement with EARA and build strong mutually respectful relationships that last.

We have already made, and will continue to make, improvements to this notice so that it reflects a best-practice model, in order to make it fully understandable to all our supporters and contacts.

To comply with GDPR, we categorised the people that we work with and we’ve listed below what data we hold and collect and why. We also collect data on employees and event attendees.

Scientist contacts:
We class scientists as those individuals on our main CRM database, including scientists, experts and contacts. We hold your data under specific, explicit and recorded consent, which can be withdrawn or changed at any time.

We collect the following information:
Name and title
Contact details such as email addresses, home addresses and telephone number
Biographical details of your career, or area of expertise
The name and contact details of your institution, organisation, or place of work
Records of expert responses you give to us about science stories in the news or press briefings you’ve spoken at
Records of email conversations between you and members of staff of EARA
This information will initially be provided by you at the point of consent, and may also include any additional publically available information. As you continue to work with EARA, your record will be updated to reflect the projects that you’ve worked on with us.
We might email or call you to ask for comments on a breaking story, on a study yet to be published or to appear on a press briefing panel or ask for your thoughts on some of the media coverage within your area of expertise.

We do not pass your data onto anyone else without your consent. For example, if you are willing to talk to a journalist on a breaking news story, in each instance, we will always confirm with you before passing on your contact details.

The consent given is valid until February 2023, before which, all scientists on the database will be asked anew to consent to the holding and processing of their data.

Press Contacts:
We class press contacts as the journalists, press officers and those working within science communications with an interest in the biomedical research sector.

We hold your data under legitimate interest as we view interaction between EARA and our press contacts as a core element of our objectives and mission, and thus a necessary component of the professional activity of both parties.You can at any time object to the holding or processing of your data.  If you do, we will remove you from our database.

We collect the following information:
Name and title
Contact details such as email addresses, home addresses and telephone numbers
The name and contact details of your institution, organisation, or place of work
This information will initially be provided by you but may also include any additional publicly available information.

We use this information so that we can communicate the views of EARA and the biomedical research sector, send news stories, and receive research output from the press offices of organisations and institutions.

We process your data in the following ways:
The EARA database
EARA mailing lists

Please note that more than one of the categories may apply to you. If you have any questions about which category applies to you – please get in touch.

May 2018