Harmonisation of Animal Testing Alternatives in China

Shujun Cheng, Xiaoting Qu and Yao Qin

More and more countries are lining up to follow the EU’s approach and implement a full ban on the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, which has been the case in the EU since 2013. Besides animal welfare considerations, the need for mutual acceptance of data (MAD) and harmonisation of the global market have made the move toward non-animal testing a desirable general trend for countries
worldwide. Over the last 10 years, the concept of alternative methods has been gradually developing in China. This has seen the harmonisation of relevant legislation, the organisation of various theoretical and hands-on training sessions, the exploration of method validation, the adoption of internationally recognised methods, the propagation of alternative testing standards, and an in-depth investigation into the potential use of in vitro methods in the biosciences. There are barriers to this progress, including the demand for a completely new infrastructure, the need to build technology capability, the requirement for a national standardisation system formed through international co-operation, and the lack of technical assistance to facilitate self-innovation. China is now increasing speed in harmonising its approach to the use of non-animal alternatives, accelerating technological development and attempting to incorporate
non-animal, in vitro, testing methods into the national regulatory system.

This article is currently only available in full to paid subscribers. Click here to subscribe, or you will need to log in/register to buy and download this article

On the Journey Toward Humane Education in Brazil: First Request for a Total Ban of Harmful Animal Use in Professional and Higher Education

Róber Bachinski, Gutemberg Alves, Mariângela Freitas de Almeida Souza, Vanessa Carli Bones, Rita de Cassia Maria Garcia, Rosangela Gebara, Valeska Regina Reque Ruiz, Luciano da Silva Alonso, Thales Tréz, Simone Tostes Oliveira, Alexandro Aluisio Rocha, Rita Leal Paixão, Roseli Pizzigatti Klein, Débora Gasparetto, Nick Jukes and Júlia Maria Matera

The Brazilian Network for Humane Education (RedEH) is an independent and self-managed group comprised of academics from ten different Brazilian states and a number of international collaborators. In 2016, in a concerted effort to change the educational field in Brazil and propagate humane education, RedEH sent a request to the Brazilian National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA), asking that harmful animal use in education in professional and undergraduate courses be banned. This was the first formal request for a total replacement of harmful animal use in education in Brazil, and represented a major historic landmark in the advancement of Brazilian science education. This paper presents the full text of the request, as well as outlining its national and international repercussions. The request was supported by InterNICHE and representatives of 18 other international organisations. A major national impact of the request was its recognition by the Federal Council of Veterinary Medicine. With this action, academics and researchers took a potentially revolutionary step in the Brazilian education arena, with regard to advancing and supporting a higher quality, ethical and democratic educational system.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Better Science with Human Cell-based Organ and Tissue Models

Tuula Heinonen

At present, animal-based models are the major test systems for assessing the tolerability and safety of chemical substances for regulatory purposes, and also for pivotal efficacy testing in pharmaceutical development. In spite of the high genetic similarity between many laboratory animals and humans, animal models are very poor predictors of human health effects and pathophysiological processes. Thus, models and testing strategies that are more relevant to human biology, are needed for these purposes. The best predictability is achieved with human organotypic models that mimic the microenvironment of human tissues. During their development, such models have to be characterised at the structural, genetic and functional levels, and compared to the respective human tissues. Their predictivity should be confirmed by using known reference chemicals with corresponding human data. The use of these methods in safety assessment and biomedical research, combined with the knowledge gained of the underlying biological processes on gene and protein expression, as well as on cellular signalling, will ultimately lead to better human science and animal welfare.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

A Normal and Biotransforming Model of the Human Bronchial Epithelium for the Toxicity Testing of Aerosols and Solubilised Substances

Zoë C. Prytherch and Kelly A. BéruBé

In this article, we provide an overview of the experimental workflow by the Lung and Particle Research Group at Cardiff University, that led to the development of the two in vitro lung models — the normal human bronchial epithelium (NHBE) model and the lung–liver model, Metabo-Lung™. This work was jointly awarded the 2013 Lush Science Prize. The NHBE model is a three-dimensional, in vitro, human tissue-based model of the normal human bronchial epithelium, and Metabo-Lung involves the co-culture of the NHBE model with primary human hepatocytes, thus permitting the biotransformation of inhaled toxicants in an in vivo-like manner. Both models can be used as alternative test systems that could replace the use of animals in research and development for safety and toxicity testing in a variety of industries (e.g. the pharmaceutical, environmental, cosmetics, and food industries). Metabo-Lung itself is a unique tool for the in vitro detection of toxins produced by reactive metabolites. This 21st century animal replacement model could yield representative in vitro predictions for in vivo toxicity. This advancement in in vitro toxicology relies on filter-well technology that will enable a wide-spectrum of researchers to create viable and economic alternatives for respiratory safety assessment and disease-focused research.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Student Perspectives on the Use of Alternative Methods for Teaching in Veterinary Faculties

Magda Sachana, Alexandros Theodoridis, Cristina Cortinovis, Fabiola Pizzo, Evaggelos Kehagias, Marco Albonico and Francesca Caloni

The use of alternative methods for teaching purposes is gradually increasing in higher education. In order to evaluate the usefulness of non-animal based practical classes in veterinary science, and to inform on possible benefits and limitations of these teaching tools, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to students. Although there was no complete agreement among the student responses, it was apparent that the majority of the students would like traditional training methods to be paired with alternative approaches, and expressed their desire to be exposed to as many humane modes of learning as possible. In addition, the students agreed that alternative teaching methods for training in veterinary science can reinforce existing knowledge that is required at the clinical stage, and that they can be effective supplements to traditional training methods. It was also concluded from the study that the use of new alternative approaches is very much appreciated by the students, whereas the validity and effectiveness of these methods are debatable, suggesting that further optimisation, proper application and evaluation of these alternative methods is required.

This article is currently only available in full to paid subscribers. Click here to subscribe, or you will need to log in/register to buy and download this article