WC8: Systematic review
Delegates at the 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences have debated the topic of systematic review of animal experiments.
During a session at the congress, which was co-chaired by FRAME’s Scientific Programme Manager Michelle Hudson, attendees discussed the reasons why Systematic reviews are important, how they can be conducted, potential problems and how such hurdles might be overcome.
A draft declaration has been put forward, calling for a change in the culture of planning, executing, reporting, reviewing and translating animal research. Following the session, and after an opportunity for comments to be gathered, a revised declaration will be adopted tomorrow (Thursday 25 August). A follow-up meeting will be held to set up an international working group to further the initiative.
The declaration states that animals should not be used in experiments where replacement methods are available but, if there is no alternative, there is a scientific and ethical imperative to ensure that studies are of the highest relevance and quality.
It is therefore vital, before any animal experiments take place, to complete a thorough study of previous work that is relevant to the investigation.
The declaration suggests that the current process of systematic review, which is performed before human clinical trials are carried out, would meet that objective. Such a review would help to ensure that animal experiments take account of the Three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) as well as addressing many public concerns about laboratory animal welfare.
The full text of the proposed declaration can be found here: http://www.wc8.ccac.ca/files/WC8_Declaration_of_Montreal.pdf