Alternative Methods in Toxicology

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):

Alternatives to animal testing, according to the 3R guiding principles published by Russel and Burch in 1959, are testing methods which aim to replace animal models, whenever possible, to reduce animal numbers used and to refine any animal model to minimize pain, suffering or distress for the animals.

German as well as European legislative bodies aim to generally prefer the use of alternative methods over animal models. The scope is not only to reduce the use of animal, but also to improve animal welfare and if ever possible to improve scientific quality in case the use of animals cannot be avoided. The German Animal Welfare Act allows animal testing only when it is indispensable. Researchers are obliged to examine thoroughly each case and to make sure that the scientific goals cannot be achieved with alternative methods (ยง 7 Abs. 2 TierSchG).

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