Since 2015, EURL ECVAM has hosted two meetings with 3Rs Centres from across the EU. These centres focus on advancing the reduction, replacement and refinement (Three Rs) of animal use for scientific purposes, through a variety of organisations and activities.
Whilst the expertise within the centres may vary, shared priorities have been identified and explored as a means of achieving impact in the 3Rs. These priorities include:
- Efforts to reduce animal use in biomedical research
- Communication and dissemination
- Promoting the use of alternative methods/models as biotechnological resources
- Education and training
- Validation towards regulatory acceptance
- Research initiatives supported by 3Rs Centres
The 3Rs Centres currently working with EURL ECVAM are:
- FICAM - Finnish Centre for Alternative Methods (Finland)
- NC3Rs - The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (UK)
- Danish 3R-Centre - (Denmark)
- Norecopa - (Norway)
- CAAT-Europe - Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
- IZSLER - Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna (Italy)
- SWETOX - Swedish Toxicology Sciences Research Center (Sweden)
- ROCAM - Romanian Center for Alternative Test Methods (Romania)
- Bf3R - Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Germany)
- RIVM - National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (The Netherlands)
- 3Rs-Centre Utrecht - (The Netherlands)
- Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO - (Switzerland – participating as observer since 2016)
The first meeting was held in April 2015. A number of opportunities for closer cooperation between centres were identified and a follow-up meeting was held in May/June 2016 to explore these further.
Common interests include the identification of priorities to reduce animal use in biomedical research (including addressing concerns related to the increasing use of transgenic animals); communication and dissemination of knowledge and information on the 3Rs; education and training at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels; validation of methods towards their use in regulatory safety assessment; and understanding for example how in vitro models (e.g. engineered tissue) can be developed and promoted as key enabling biotechnology to stimulate innovation and growth in a variety of sectors.