Researchers can drive a paradigm change towards non-animal research methods. Already, many Australian researchers have joined a call for increased funding for the replacement of animals in research. If you wish to join these researchers please review HRA’s Business Case for Alternatives funding to replace animals in medical research, and contact us to be listed as a supportive researcher, supplying your name, email, research institution and area of research.
If you would like your research to be featured, have any questions, need assistance in finding a non-animal replacement method, or would like to engage with HRA, please contact HRA’s Science Outreach Consultant Natalie Anderson via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in becoming an adviser to HRA, please contact email@example.com as we greatly value research expertise.
You may also like to follow HRA’s LinkedIn account as we often post content relevant to researchers.
Why look for alternatives?
There are increasing scientific and ethical concerns with animal research in recognition of the limitations of animal models to replicate human-biology. You can view recent papers discussing these limitations here. Publications co-authored by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the progress already being made in alternatives in regulatory science can be viewed here.
HRA’s Business Case for Alternatives outlines the economic advantages of a transition to non-animal research methods.
CSIRO’s 2023 report ‘Non-animal models: A strategy for maturing Australia’s medical product development capabilities’ details the opportunities for Australian research.
HRA reports on alternative scientific methods to animal testing
– Better Ways to Do Research- an overview of methods and technologies that can replace animals in biomedical research and testing.
– Optimising inhalation research transitioning to human-relevant research
Alternatives to animal models
Please see the below list of Alternatives Validation Centres associated with universities or scientific institutes:
• ECVAM – The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods.
• ICVAAM (USA) – Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods
• Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) John Hopkins University (US)
• CAAT Europe University of Konstanz
• CaCVAM – Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods University of Windsor
• NKCA – The National Knowledge Centre on Alternatives to Animal Experiments (Netherlands).
• JaCVAM – Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods.
• NC3RS – National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (UK)
• SKoCVAM – the Korean Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods
• Swiss 3R Competence Centre
• The German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals and their associated Unit:
• Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments (ZEBET)
Some recommended sites are:
- Australian National University – Innovative Methods and Alternatives to Animal Research
- AltBib – Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing
- Non-animal technologies database
- USDA Animal Welfare Information Center Alternatives Literature Searching Worksheet
- The RE-Place project including a database of NAMs
- 3Rs Infohub
For guidance from a librarian on alternative searches, read this useful article.
If you want to learn more searching for and developing alternatives, free online training modules are available through the Education and Training Platform for Laboratory Animal Science.
Learn more about Target images on animal-free research, which describe clear transition objectives for each research domain aimed at reducing the use of laboratory animals with equal or better research quality.
Can’t find the alternative you are looking for?
Contact us and our Science Outreach Consultant will respond with advice specific for your research area.
Image: Organ on-a-chip
Our guidance page for animal research industry personnel provides some tips and resources on how those working in the animal research industry can best serve the interests of both animals and the validity of research.
We have profiled a selection of Australian research without the use of animals in our non-animal case studies.
Non-animal cell cultures
Replacing animals means elimination of the use of all animal and their products. Discover alternatives to fetal calf serum.
Currently, university funding schemes in Australia tend to be restricted to 3Rs funding. However, this is still an opportunity to apply for funding for replacement research and advance human-relevant science. If your university does not offer funding, why not ask that they offer a replacement funding scheme?
Global 3Rs awards or alternatives funding allowing international applicants
https://www.ardf-online.org/ardf-grants.html (preference is for USA applications)
The PETA Science Consortium also offers a variety of funding awards
Global Occasional 3Rs award:
Using animals in research can cause internal conflict and take a personal toll. Read more in this article Negative psychological aspects of working with experimental animals in scientific research. The organisation Justify offers a supportive network to share your experiences.
Research methods to cease immediately.
Due to reasons of scientific validity, animal welfare and the availability of validated alternatives, HRA calls for research using the below procedures to be immediately prohibited.
- Forced inhalation tests
- Forced swim test
- The development and production of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies
- All primate research
- Safety testing for which there are validated alternatives
Image: The inhalation chamber used to restrain mice in forced inhalation research
Please consult the below external resources of interest to the research community:
Responsible Research provides free webinars on responsible research practices.
Please see an ‘Author Guide for Addressing Animal Methods Bias in Publishing‘ created by the Coalition to Illuminate and Address Animal Methods Bias.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read HRA’s responses to some commonly posed questions on the subject of animal experimentation.
Animal research in Australia
See historical statistics of animal use in research and education.
Have Your Say
Take action to support HRA campaigns.
- Mandatory rehoming of dogs and cats used in research
- Petition the Minister of Health for funding of human-relevant research.
- Support increased transparency in animal research
- Oppose xenotransplantation
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