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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Revision of Council of Europe Convention ETS 123 Guidelines for the Accommodation and Care of Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes

David Anderson

Within the 43 Member States of the Council of Europe, Appendix A of Convention ETS 123 provides guidance on the standards of accommodation and care to be provided for animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes. At a meeting of the Parties to the Convention in 1997, a resolution providing additional guidance on accommodation and care was adopted. At the same meeting, it was agreed that, as scientific knowledge and experience had progressed since adoption of ETS 123 in 1986, a Working Party should be convened to consider the revision of Appendix A. The Working Party first met in January 1999, and since then, there have been a number of Working Party meetings, and a number of meetings of Expert Groups, who are tasked with producing guidelines incorporating species-specific needs. The Expert Groups have drafted proposals for the accommodation and care of rodents, rabbits, dogs, cats, ferrets, farm animals, birds, amphibia, reptiles and fish. These proposals will complement the general principles of accommodation and care included in the general section of Appendix A. This comprehensive review has provided an opportunity to incorporate new ideas on housing and care based on scientific data and on best contemporary practises. It is expected that these revisions will be used throughout the scientific community to inform accommodation and care practises for animals used for scientific purposes.