British Think Tank Calls for More Alternatives to Animal Tests
The scientific community has a “moral imperative” to develop alternatives, says a new report on animal tests by a British think tank. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics also calls for improvements in the lengthy validation process currently used to approve new nonanimal tests. The 376-page report was released in May.
Two years ago, the council convened a working group of scientists, ethicists, and animal protection advocates. Although this diverse group did not reach any agreement as to whether animal experiments are scientifically useful or ethically acceptable, it did make a number of strong recommendations that could, if implemented, reduce the numbers of animals used in laboratories.
The Nuffield Council is funded in part by the government and two private foundations, one endowed by a pharmaceutical company. On the day the report was issued, the British government announced it would grant an additional $5.5 million to a new center working on alternatives.