Tag Archives: Transparency Agreement

Survey reveals great progress made by biomedical research sector in Spain to be more open about animal research

The first report on the Spanish biomedical sector’s commitment to be more transparent about its research using animals, published today, has highlighted the great progress being made to improve openness.

Launched in 2016, the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Spain, (‘Acuerdo de transparencia sobre el uso de animales en experimentación científica en España’) now has more than 120 public and private research centres, universities and scientific societies as signatories. It contains four commitments for research centres in Spain to provide more information about animal research at their institutions.

1/ Speak with clarity about when, how and why animals are used in investigation.
2/Provide adequate information to the media and the general public about the conditions under which research using animals is carried out and the results obtained from them.
3/ Develop initiatives that improve knowledge and understanding by society about the use of animals in scientific research.
4/Report annually on progress and share experiences.

The report, (in Spanish) launched today at the Student Residence of the CSIC, in Madrid, assessing the development of the fourth commitment has been carried out by the European Animal Research Association (EARA), in partnership with the Spanish Society for Laboratory Animal Sciences (SECAL), a member of both the Spanish Confederation of Scientific Societies (COSCE) and EARA.

One of the most important aspects of the Agreement has been the creation of a declaration on their website by the vast majority of organisations (95%) explaining the institutional policy on the use of animals.

EARA Board member, Javier Guillén, said: “The appearance of these institutional declarations has been one of the clearest and most visible examples of the decision of the signatory organisations for transparency.”

Lluís Montoliu, a member of the COSCE commission, added: “The survey results show that great progress has been made to disseminate information on the use of animals in science. It is very pleasing to see that an increasing number of institutions are not only openly declaring their use of animals, but also prepared to explain publicly the benefits of this research for society.”

Other findings from the survey were:
It was encouraging to see that almost all the respondents said that they had experienced no significant barriers in providing information to the media and the general public on the conditions in which research is carried out using animals.
Increased recognition by the signatories (87% of respondents) of the value of raising public awareness of animal research through events, tours and presentations.
The most common method of communication (79% of respondents) is the publication of news about scientific advances which relates to animal research.
A growing number of institutions (42% of respondents) believe that the Agreement has already had an impact on society in general.
Almost two thirds of survey respondents (63% of respondents) still do not have a policy of mentioning the use of animal models in research in the institutions press releases.

In addition, several examples of transparency activities promoted by the Agreement have been collected, such as visits by students or journalists to animal research facilities and other media reporting and are included throughout the Report – half the institutions also reported that they had taken part in science festivals.

Nevertheless, the report also showed that while great progress has been made to improve communications both internally and externally this activity is still at an early stage, as not all institutions have begun to carry out transparency activities beyond the institutional declarations.

See also El Pais: Labs that experiment with animals start to lift veil of secrecy

Images from the Applied Biomedical Experimental Research (CREBA) in Lleida.

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Notes to editors

About EARA
The European Animal Research Association (EARA) is an organisation that communicates and advocates on biomedical research using animals and provides accurate, evidence-based information. It also takes responsibility for the choice and sustainability in the global transport of animals for medical research. It has more than 70 partner organisations, including private and public research bodies, universities, regional and national biomedical associations and suppliers, across 14 European countries.
EARA’s vision is to enhance the understanding and recognition of research involving animals across Europe, allowing for a more constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and a more efficient climate for research in Europe www.eara.eu

About COSCE
The Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain is the result an initiative in begun in 2003 and brings together 82 scientific societies representing more than 40,000 members. The purpose of COSCE, are to contribute to the scientific and technological development of Spain; advocate on issues that affect science and promote the role of science and contribute to its dissemination.

Case study examples of openness

Visits of journalists to the National Biotechnology Center
After launching the COSCE agreement for transparency in animal experimentation, there were media requests from LaSextaTV and El Mundo to visit the facilities of the National Biotechnology Center (CNB-CSIC) in Madrid. With the authorisation of the head of animal welfare at the center, Ángel Naranjo, who facilitated the access of the journalists to the animal center, the researcher Lluís Montoliu showed various areas where the mice, used in research as animal models of diseases, are housed. For example, the editors and news cameras of LaSextaTV were permitted to stay as long as they needed, ask the questions they wanted and visit every area, while maintaining the criteria of security and protection of the animals housed there.
LaSextaTV
El Mundo

Visit and practices of students of the UCM and UAX in the Animation Service of CIEMAT
In the spring of 2018 several groups of students of the Complutense University of Madrid (Faculty of Biology) and Alfonso X University (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine) visited the facilities of CIEMAT and had their first contact with animal research. Jesús Martínez, Head of Animal Welfare at CIEMAT said: “In these visits – the response of students, who are closely linked to the world of scientific research for their studies – was striking, when they were shown the high standards of accommodation, welfare, supervision and control of research animals in our facilities. I think that for the students it is a very interesting and clarifying experience to dispel preconceived ideas.”

Visits and training at the Applied Biomedical Experimental Research Center (CREBA)
At the Center for Applied Biomedical Experimental Research (CREBA) in Lleida, visits are frequently made with schoolchildren, university students, and groups of professionals. In recent months students have been received from the Lestonnac school in Lleida, the Alfred Potrony de Térmens (Lleida), the agricultural school of Vallfogona de Balaguer (Lleida) and the Medical Facility of this province. They have also received a group of members of the Official College of Nursing.

In all the visits there is a presentation on the use of animals in research and training – particularly the research at CREBA. The stabling area is shown through cameras in real time. Then a visit to the surgical block is carried out, explaining the usefulness of each area and equipment. “The experience is very enriching for both parties. For students and teachers, because they enter a world that they have never had access to, and that helps them to begin to understand the information they receive from other sources, and for CREBA staff, because it gives us the opportunity to explain our work and to shift the opinions of young people”, says Dolores García Olmo, Technical Director of CREBA.

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.

PT LOGOS_16 INSTITUTIONS

 

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

Agreement on transparency in animal research launched in Portugal

The public announcement of the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal
will take place today (21 June 2018).

This initiative presented by the scientist Nuno Sousa has been proposed by the European Animal Research Association (EARA) and supported by the Portuguese Society of Sciences in Laboratory Animals (SPCAL) and is supported by 16 Portuguese institutions, from across the country, that use animals in biomedical and basic research.

The aim of the Transparency Agreement is to improve the Portuguese public’s understanding
and acceptability of animal research by promoting openness and transparency. The signatories
agreed to be more open and consistent with the public on their communication about the scientific, ethical and moral justifications for animal research.

This approach is based on the Transparency Agreement in Spain, launched in 2016, where
EARA co-operated with the Federation of Spanish Scientific Societies (COSCE) and the UK
Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.

Kirk Leech, of EARA, said: “This Transparency Agreement is a significant step forward for the
biomedical sector in Portugal. It will set high standards for openness and lead to a greater
understanding among the general public of the benefits of animal research, including the
contribution it makes to the studies of cancer and diseases of the brain.

“We also expect that most institutions in Portugal, that conduct animal research will eventually join the Agreement.”

The launch ceremony took place before the IV SPCAL Congress dedicated to the theme
“Quality and Transparency in Science involving Laboratory Animals”, in the School of Medicine
and the Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) at University of Minho, in Braga. There followed a presentation by Prof. Doctor Nuno Sousa, neuroscientist and President of the
School of Medicine of the University of Minho; EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech and the
President of SPCAL, Prof. Doctor Ricardo Afonso.

Following the announcement there was a roundtable debate attended by the General
Director of Food and Veterinary (DGAV), Prof. Doctor Fernando Bernardo; the President of the
National Committee for the Protection of Animals used for Scientific Purposes (CPAFC), Prof.
Doctor Yolanda Vaz; the Member of the Assembly of the Republic from the Parliamentary
Group of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Dr. Laura Magalhães; the Member of the Party for
People Animals and Nature (PAN) National Jurisdiction Council, Dr. Sara Fernandes and the
Member of the National Council of the Ecological Party “The Greens”, Dr. Mariana Silva.

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.

Contacts:
EARA Ambassador in Portugal, Ana Barros, abarros@eara.eu, 911142729
EARA Communications Manager, Bob Tolliday, btolliday@eara.eu 00 44 (0) 7715525535

Additional Information
List of signatories to the Transparency Agreement:

Instituição Nome Completo, Cidade
CBMR Centro de Investigação em Biomedicina, Faro
CCMAR Centro de Ciências Marinhas, Faro
FC Fundação Champalimaud, Lisboa
FCUL Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
FFUC Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra
FFUL Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
FMV-UL Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa
i3S Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Porto
ICBR Instituto de Investigação Clínica e Biomédica de Coimbra, Coimbra
ICNAS Instituto de Ciências Nucleares Aplicadas à Saúde, Coimbra
ICVS Instituto de Investigação em Ciências da Vida e Saúde, Braga
IGC Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Lisboa
IHMT Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Lisboa
iMM Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisboa
NMS|FCM NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Lisboa
UTAD Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real

European Animal Research Association (EARA) – The European Animal Research Association
has been established to better inform the European public and political decision makers on the
continued need for, and benefit of, the humane use of animals in biomedical research. EARA
seeks to provide support, advocacy and reliable communication on behalf of public and private
researchers at both national and European levels.

Portuguese Society of Sciences in Laboratory Animals (SPCAL) – The Portuguese Society of
Sciences in Laboratory Animals (SPCAL) is a private, non-profit association made up of people
whose activities are related to sciences in laboratory animals. SPCAL aims to standardize and
optimize the use of laboratory animals in the sense of promoting animal welfare and health, as
well as sponsoring collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches among professionals
involved in laboratory animal science. On the other hand, it is also the purpose of this Society
to implement and disseminate the ethical and behavioural principles that should accompany
the use of laboratory animals for scientific purposes. www.spcal.pt/pt

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