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The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), which is responsible for validating new alternative methods that can replace animal tests, has been updating its stakeholders, including the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) on its progress.
The ECEAE Science Advisor, Dr Katy Taylor, attended this annual stakeholder event at the Centre in Milan this week where she was told about promising new methods that will soon be coming out of the validation system. These methods include tests for skin allergy (sensitisation) which traditionally use mice and guinea pigs and tests for cancer causing properties (carcinogenicity) which typically use mice and rats in cruel tests that last up to two years.
The ECEAE has also received the annual report from ECVAM on its progress with validating methods, its consultation recommendations on two new methods to replace animals , a strategy document as well as the publication of its final recommendation on the NRU 3T3 assay which is a cell based test that can replace animals used in acute toxicity tests. The ECEAE contributed to the improvement of these draft recommendations by providing comments which were taken on board by ECVAM.
The ECEAE is pleased to see developments from the Centre and to be directly involved in supporting its work. We remain very frustrated, however, at the slow pace of the validation process and the regulatory acceptance of those methods once they have been validated.