Brussels, Belgium, 2 December 2005: IFAH-Europe became part of the "European partnership to promote alternative approaches to animal testing" with the aim to work towards a reduction of tests on animals. Industry associations from the pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, chemicals, cosmetics, and biotechnology sectors as well as the European Commission have agreed on this partnership with the direct support of Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen and Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
To mark the launch of the Partnership, the trade associations (CEFIC, EFPIA, COLIPA, EuropaBio, ECPA, AISE, IFAH-Europe), and the European Commission have jointly written a “3 R’s Declaration”. It provides the framework for this voluntary European partnership aiming at refining, reducing or replacing (3 R’s) animal use. As a next step a task force will set up an action programme with concrete activities during the first quarter 2006. It will be designed in the perspective of identifying barriers to progress and propose solutions to promote the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative approaches to animal testing, as e.g.
Today, science can increasingly refine, reduce and replace animal tests by cell culture methods, computer models and extrapolations from existing data. The main problem in fully replacing animal tests is that the high safety standards for consumers, workers and patients must be safeguarded when changing to new safety assessments. Therefore, industry still has to employ and regulatory agencies still require animal tests to ensure the products are safe and efficacious.
Declan O’Brien, Managing Director of IFAH-Europe, the Brussels based European federation for the veterinary medicines sector, warmly welcomed this initiative:
“It is only by all working together in a coordinated approach that industry and regulators can find new methods in reducing or replacing animal testing, while maintaining an appropriate level of consumer safety.”
For more information see the web site of the European Commission:
Notes to Editors:
IFAH-Europe (International Federation for Animal Health Europe) is the federation representing manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in Europe and comprises 14 Member Companies and 16 National Associations throughout Europe.
For further information on IFAH-Europe, please visit http://www.ifahsec.org/Europe
For further information on the issue covered by this press release, please contact Bernd Halling, Communications Director.
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