Tag Archives: FELASA

EARA findings on how to improve Non-Technical Summaries for the general public published

As part of its strategy to improve openness and transparency on the use of animals in research in Europe, EARA has been working closely with the EU to help improve the information provided to the general public.

Earlier this year the EARA working group on Non-Technical Summaries (NTS) submitted its guidance document to the EU Commission on how NTS could be made more understandable for the ordinary reader.

EARA has now heard that the Commission will produce additional guidance on NTS for Member States based on the EARA guidance document.

EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech, said: “We are very pleased to hear that the Commission has found the EARA working group’s observations useful.

“NTS are a small part of the overall need to improve openness and transparency on animal research, but they could be a valuable resource, in particular, for the media and other influencers who communicate with the public directly, in explaining issues such as animal welfare and the benefits that biomedical research can bring for society.”

Every research project application, that intends to use animals, is required to include a publicly available NTS which includes a simple explanation of the project’s objectives, predicted harms, benefits and number and types of animals used. It must also demonstrate compliance with the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement).

NTS are widely seen as a positive development in improving transparency on animal research to the public. However, it is widely agreed that there are a number of problems in the compilation, accuracy, standardisation and accessibility of NTS.

In November 2017, the EU Commission published its Review of Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The Commission reported that there had been some progress on transparency, but suggested that further improvements were needed. In particular further work is needed on the publication of statistical information on animal use and on non-technical project summaries (NTS).

EARA identified clear opportunities to improve NTS for the general public and set up its working group in 2018. The working group brought together representatives from the user community, with a range of experts from backgrounds in animal welfare, communications and private and public biomedical research, including membership of institutional ethics committees and welfare organisations.

As an example of its guidance the EARA working group said that a simplified project title should be included in the NTS alongside the formal technical title. For instance:

’Effect of oncolitic adenovirus in embryonic high grade pediatric tumours of the central nervous system in NOD.Cg-Rag1tm1Mom Prf1tm1Sdz/Sz mice (Measuring the effects in mice of different potential treatments for childhood cancers)’

The members were Javier Guillén, AAALAC International (Chair), Michael Addelman University of Manchester, Peter Janssen FENS_CARE, Serban Morosan GIRCOR , Barney Reed RSPCA , Kirsty Reid EFPIA , Bob Tolliday EARA and Hanna-Marja Voipio FELASA.

For further information contact EARA Communications Manager, Bob Tolliday, btolliday@eara.eu on +44 (0)20 3675 1245 or +44 (0)7970 132801

Meet EARA at FELASA Congress

The 13th annual FELASA Congress will be taking place in Brussels from June 13-16. With sessions discussing a wide range of topics in animal research, it is the place to be for information sharing on best practices in laboratory animal science, welfare and policy. Continue reading