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Dr Katy Taylor from the BUAV, on behalf of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), is today presenting a poster at the annual conference of the European Platform on Animal Alternatives (EPAA) in Brussels. At the conference, representatives from the European Commission, academia, industry, as well as animal welfare groups will meet to discuss how to replace animal testing. The EPAA is a joint initiative of the European Commission, companies and European trade associations from seven industry sectors. It was launched in November 2005 to promote the development and implementation of new 3Rs methods (replacement, reduction and refinement) and modern alternative approaches to animal testing in the field of regulatory testing.
This year the focus of the conference is on intelligent testing strategies (to reduce animal tests). The ECEAE poster describes our work on the testing proposals system for REACH (the EU chemicals testing regime). We describe the number of animal tests we have commented on and the issues we have faced and overcome in negotiating the system to make it work, such as gaining increased transparency of decisions and decision making. Our poster raises the question of whether REACH is working the way it should and whether the use of intelligent testing strategies are being accepted by ECHA (European Chemicals Agency), the agency responsible for the REACH programme.