RSPCA takes to the global stage to make a difference for lab animals

From tomorrow, experts from the RSPCA’s research animals team will be joining around 1,000 others from animal protection organisations, government departments, pharmaceutical and chemicals companies, regulatory bodies and universities around the world to participate in the major global event focussing on the use and welfare of animals in experiments.

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The World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, which takes place every three years, provides a vital platform for animal welfarists, scientists and policy makers to come together and constructively exchange ideas and promote initiatives that could help laboratory animals everywhere.

The RSPCA experts have been invited and funded by the Congress organisers to attend over Sunday 24 to Thursday 28 August, to provide a range of presentations and to co-chair discussion sessions.

Most of the issues on which the RSPCA works and campaigns will be discussed at the Congress, including:

  • progress in the development, acceptance and use of humane alternatives;
  • implementation of laws controlling animal experiments;
  • public attitudes on the use of animals in research;
  • the increasing use of genetically altered animals;
  • assessing and reducing animal suffering;
  • how science is funded and carried out;
  • standards of animal welfare;
  • and the ethical issues and dilemmas associated with animal use.

Barney Reed, Senior Scientific Officer, said: “Science and technology have become increasingly globalised, yet attitudes towards animals can vary widely – and so can the levels of control of animal experiments, along with awareness and uptake of all the available opportunities for reducing the use and suffering of animals.

“This Congress is a great opportunity for organisations funding, supporting, using or regulating the use of lab animals to come together with animal welfare organisations and make a positive difference to the lives of millions of animals.

“We are looking forward to taking the RSPCA’s messages to the Congress of promoting better, more humane science, with far more critical consideration of the necessity and justification for using animals and commitment to replacing animal experiments with alternatives. We also look forward to liaising with other organisations worldwide to hear about new approaches to reducing the impact of science on lab animals.”

To find out more about the RSPCA’s work to help lab animals, visit:http://science.rspca.org.uk/sciencegroup/researchanimals

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