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International Survey: What Influences Alternatives to Animal Toxicity Testing?

Millions of animals across the globe are used for toxicity testing. So initiatives to replace, reduce, and refine the use of animals must be coordinated on an international level. A new article in the journal ALTEX discusses international survey results of what influences alternatives to animal use in toxicity testing.

The authors of the article, including PCRM toxicologist Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., surveyed scientists in industry and academia to learn about factors influencing the development and implementation of nonanimal methods in Europe and North America.

Legislation and scientific relevance are the top factors driving European industries—such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and cosmetics companies—to use nonanimal methods. In North America, consumer interest in products that are developed without animal use and industry interest in developing safe and effective products quickly and cheaply top the list.

In academia, legislation and governmental oversight drive European institutions to seek alternatives to animal use. In the United States, top factors include grant money from foundations, federal agencies, or other institutions targeted specifically at nonanimal methods, the efficiency of nonanimal methods, and costs and other practical issues associated with animals.

“Regulatory bodies, industry, and academia must work together globally to develop approaches and best practices for ending animal use,” says Sullivan. “International cooperation will improve or save the lives of millions of animals currently used in toxicity tests.”

The results of the survey were presented at a special session sponsored by the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) held at the 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. Audience input was added to the survey results for the paper.

ASCCT, which PCRM co-founded, is dedicated to reducing and replacing animal use in toxicology for a more human-relevant—and humane—science.

To learn more about ASCCT, visit


Animals used in toxicity testing

To learn more about ASCCT, visit


PCRM Online,
June 2012

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