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Countries unite to reduce animal use in product toxicity testing worldwide

urately identify product related health hazards, the tests are more readily accepted by regulatory agencies.

"The memorandum covers three critical areas of test method evaluation: validation studies, independent scientific peer review meetings and reports, and development of test method recommendations for regulatory consideration," said Marilyn Wind, Ph.D., chair of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods and a scientist at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

"This international cooperation will benefit both people and animals," said William Stokes, D.V.M., director of NICEATM and executive director of ICCVAM. Stokes is also an assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service. "The cooperation will serve an important role in translating research advances into more effective public health prevention tools. It will speed the adoption of new test methods based on advances in science and technology that will provide more accurate predictions of safety or hazard. Animal welfare will also be improved by the national and international acceptance of alternative test methods that reduce, refine, and replace the use of animals."

Federal agencies are committed to the welfare of animals used in research. All animals used in federally-funded research are protected by laws, regulations and policies to ensure they are used in the smallest number possible and with the greatest commitment to their comfort. ICCVAM is working to promote the development and validation of alternative test methods. Alternative test methods are those that accomplish one or more of the 3Rs - reducing the number of animals used in testing, or refining procedures so animals experience less pain and distress, or replacing animals with non-animal systems.

"We are very pleased to be part of this effort and to continue our already successful collaboration in a formalized manner," said Elke Anklam, Ph.D., director for the I

Contact: Robin Mackar
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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