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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Humane Regulatory Testing: The United Kingdom Experience

Jon D. Richmond

Regulatory testing requirements are considered by some to be rigid and inflexible. In fact, there is often considerable discretion in the animal test requirements and the endpoints that can be applied. This paper reviews the steps taken by government departments, agencies and professional associations in the UK to ensure that the Three Rs are reflected when animal testing is undertaken to satisfy regulatory requirements. The Home Office and other relevant government departments and agencies have agreed upon and implemented concordats on animal welfare and data sharing, and a joint guidance on humane regulatory testing has been published with the assistance of appropriate professional bodies. This paper describes these initiatives and reviews their impact to date on policy and practice at home and abroad.