animal use alternatives


Summary: Alternatives to the use of animals in research, testing, and education. The alternatives may include reduction in the number of animals used, replacement of animals with a non-animal model or with animals of a species lower phylogenetically, or refinement of methods to minimize pain and distress of animals used.

Top Publications

  1. Nyika A. Animal research ethics in Africa: an overview. Acta Trop. 2009;112 Suppl 1:S48-52 pubmed publisher
  2. Lee G, Choe B, Kim J, Hart L, Han J. The current status of animal use and alternatives in Korean veterinary medical schools. Altern Lab Anim. 2010;38:221-30 pubmed
    ..The information presented represents the first such data gathered in Korea, which should prove useful for monitoring the implementation of replacement, reduction, and refinement measures in animal use for education purposes. ..
  3. Gruber F, Dewhurst D. Alternatives to animal experimentation in biomedical education. ALTEX. 2004;21 Suppl 1:33-48 pubmed
    ..The global situation is probably worse with animals still being used in high school teaching in some countries such as the USA. ..
  4. Willett C, Bishop P, Sullivan K. Application of an integrated testing strategy to the U.S. EPA endocrine disruptor screening program. Toxicol Sci. 2011;123:15-25 pubmed publisher
  5. Verheyden K, Noppe H, Zorn H, Van Immerseel F, Vanden Bussche J, Wille K, et al. Endogenous boldenone-formation in cattle: alternative invertebrate organisms to elucidate the enzymatic pathway and the potential role of edible fungi on cattle's feed. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;119:161-70 pubmed publisher
    ..Metabolism of phytosterols by feed-borne fungi may be of particular importance to explain the endogenous bBol-formation by cattle. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time the latter pathway is described in literature. ..
  6. Kurosawa T. [Alternatives to animal experimentation v.s. animal rights terrorism]. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008;128:741-6 pubmed
    ..In Japan, the animal welfare law was revised in 2005 stressing the importance of 3Rs in scientific activities with animals. The promotion of 3Rs should be strengthened in the pharmaceutical community. ..
  7. Gracely E. Replication and the 3Rs: an interesting dialog. Lab Anim (NY). 2008;37:13-4 pubmed
  8. Forster R, Bode G, Ellegaard L, van der Laan J. The RETHINK project on minipigs in the toxicity testing of new medicines and chemicals: conclusions and recommendations. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2010;62:236-42 pubmed publisher
    ..To deploy the minipig to the best advantage, clear information is needed about the predictivity of the minipig for human toxicities, and focussed action to define the potential role of the minipig in testing of biologics. ..
  9. Weatherall D, Munn H. Moving the primate debate forward. Science. 2007;316:173 pubmed

More Information


  1. Hudson M, Balls M. European experimental animal use declines ever so slightly. Altern Lab Anim. 2010;38:529-32 pubmed
    ..In addition, consideration is given to which areas of research and regulation will need to be closely monitored, and the importance of continuing to push for the implementation of Three Rs initiatives is highlighted. ..
  2. BeruBe K. Alternatives for lung research: stuck between a rat and a hard place. Altern Lab Anim. 2011;39:121-30 pubmed
    ..When 3-D cell cultures are employed for testing aerosolised chemicals, drugs and xenobiotics, responses are captured that mirror the events in the in situ human lung and provide human endpoint data. ..
  3. Stokes W. Best practices for the use of animals in toxicological research and testing. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011;1245:17-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Advances in science and technology are providing opportunities for improved mechanism-based models and integrated safety assessments that will support improved animal welfare and reduce animal use. ..
  4. Teutsch G. [Man and his fellow-creatures under ethical aspects]. ALTEX. 2004;21:199-220 pubmed
    ..Morals is stressed here in particular in order to limit the excessive dominance of theoretical ethics and to preserve the priority of action-guiding morals. ..
  5. Klein C, Wiench K, Wiemann M, Ma Hock L, van Ravenzwaay B, Landsiedel R. Hazard identification of inhaled nanomaterials: making use of short-term inhalation studies. Arch Toxicol. 2012;86:1137-51 pubmed publisher
  6. de Esch C, Slieker R, Wolterbeek A, Woutersen R, De Groot D. Zebrafish as potential model for developmental neurotoxicity testing: a mini review. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2012;34:545-53 pubmed publisher
    ..The use of zebrafish in toxicity research can ultimately lead to the refinement or reduction of animal use. ..
  7. Hasiwa N, Bailey J, Clausing P, Daneshian M, Eileraas M, Farkas S, et al. Critical evaluation of the use of dogs in biomedical research and testing in Europe. ALTEX. 2011;28:326-40 pubmed
    ..Advances in the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of experiments using dogs) are described, potential opportunities are discussed and recommendations for further progress in this area are made. ..
  8. Lilley E, Hawkins P, Jennings M. A 'road map' toward ending severe suffering of animals used in research and testing. Altern Lab Anim. 2014;42:267-72 pubmed
    ..We urge researchers to act upon these principles, and to begin a journey toward a future where causing severe suffering to animals used in scientific research is a thing of the past. ..
  9. Schmid A, Rignall B, Pichler B, Schwarz M. Quantitative analysis of the growth kinetics of chemically induced mouse liver tumors by magnetic resonance imaging. Toxicol Sci. 2012;126:52-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The phenotype of tumors differed strongly between the two experiments, but our results demonstrate that tumors can be reliably detected by MRI when they exceed a certain size independent of their phenotype. ..
  10. Van Rooij P, Martel A, Brutyn M, Maes S, Chiers K, Van Waeyenberghe L, et al. Development of in vitro models for a better understanding of the early pathogenesis of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infections in amphibians. Altern Lab Anim. 2010;38:519-28 pubmed
    ..dendrobatidis in amphibian skin up to five days post-infection. These models provide a good alternative for in vivo experiments, and reduce the number of experimental animals needed...
  11. Hartung T. From alternative methods to a new toxicology. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2011;77:338-49 pubmed publisher
    ..Similarly, a portal for high-quality reviews of toxicological approaches and tools for the quantitative meta-analyses of data promise to serve as door opener for a new regulatory toxicology. ..
  12. Martinic G. The use of animals in live-tissue trauma training and military medical research. Lab Anim (NY). 2011;40:319-22 pubmed publisher
  13. Balls M, Hudson M. Comments on UK options for transposition of European Directive 2010/63/EU. Altern Lab Anim. 2012;40:109-13 pubmed
  14. Palko H, Fung J, Louie A. Positron emission tomography: a novel technique for investigating the biodistribution and transport of nanoparticles. Inhal Toxicol. 2010;22:657-88 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, the initial deposition pattern in each animal can be accurately determined and the same animal monitored over time so that data interpretation is not clouded by variations in initial deposition profiles. ..
  15. Golledge H. Response to Roustan et al. 'Evaluating methods of mouse euthanasia on the oocyte quality: cervical dislocation versus isoflurane inhalation': animal welfare concerns regarding the aversiveness of isoflurane and its inability to cause rapid death. Lab Anim. 2012;46:358-9; author reply 360 pubmed publisher
  16. Selderslaghs I, Hooyberghs J, Blust R, Witters H. Assessment of the developmental neurotoxicity of compounds by measuring locomotor activity in zebrafish embryos and larvae. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2013;37:44-56 pubmed publisher
  17. Fabian E, Vogel D, Blatz V, Ramirez T, Kolle S, Eltze T, et al. Xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme activities in cells used for testing skin sensitization in vitro. Arch Toxicol. 2013;87:1683-96 pubmed
  18. McKendrick I. The role of the statistician in the Scottish Agricultural and Biological Research Institutes. Altern Lab Anim. 2004;32 Suppl 2:23-7 pubmed
    ..The final conclusion is that scientists welcome constructive, long-term statistical input, although budgetary issues can prove to be a barrier. ..
  19. Stewart J. Developmental toxicity testing of monoclonal antibodies: an enhanced pre- and postnatal study design option. Reprod Toxicol. 2009;28:220-5 pubmed publisher
  20. Festing M. The choice of animal model and reduction. Altern Lab Anim. 2004;32 Suppl 2:59-64 pubmed
    ..There is really no evidence that this is so, and there is much evidence that the use of inbred strains has been highly successful in many disciplines. ..
  21. Marona H, Lucchesi M. Protocol to refine intestinal motility test in mice. Lab Anim. 2004;38:257-60 pubmed
    ..The present study may aid the formulation of recommendations that can be included in revised guidelines relating to the fasting time of mice. This new concept of an intestinal motility test conforms with respectful science. ..
  22. Owiny J. Is the IACUC interfering with study design? Freedom without accountability. Lab Anim (NY). 2005;34:18-9 pubmed
  23. Grindon C. The new EU REACH regulation has finally been adopted: is this the end of the campaign trail... or just the beginning?. Altern Lab Anim. 2007;35:239-42 pubmed
  24. Balls M, Combes R. The need for a formal invalidation process for animal and non-animal tests. Altern Lab Anim. 2005;33:299-308 pubmed
    ..An additional advantage of such a process would be that valuable resources would no longer be wasted in attempts to secure the acceptance of inherently inadequate tests. ..
  25. Silverman J, Kuhlman S, Hill L, Hopp T, Josten M. Pig surgery: can reduction be a protocol violation?. Lab Anim (NY). 2004;33:14 pubmed
  26. Hein S, Bur M, Schaefer U, Lehr C. A new Pharmaceutical Aerosol Deposition Device on Cell Cultures (PADDOCC) to evaluate pulmonary drug absorption for metered dose dry powder formulations. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2011;77:132-8 pubmed publisher
    ..In the context of developing new dry powder aerosol formulations, PADDOCC appears as a useful tool, allowing reducing animal testing and faster translation into clinical trials. ..
  27. Hrach J, Mueller S, Hewitt P. Development of an in vitro liver toxicity prediction model based on longer term primary rat hepatocyte culture. Toxicol Lett. 2011;206:189-96 pubmed publisher
  28. Mepham B. Food additives: an ethical evaluation. Br Med Bull. 2011;99:7-23 pubmed publisher
    ..Examining the impacts of food additives on consumer sovereignty, consumer health and on animals used in safety testing should allow a more informed debate about their appropriate uses. ..
  29. Van de Weerd H, Van Loo P, Baumans V. Environmental enrichment: room for reduction?. Altern Lab Anim. 2004;32 Suppl 2:69-71 pubmed
  30. Knezevic G. Animal use in higher education in the SEE (South Eastern Europe) region. ALTEX. 2004;21:102-4 pubmed
  31. Sztybel D. A living will clause for supporters of animal experimentation. J Appl Philos. 2006;23:173-89 pubmed
    ..Ultimately, it is argued that invasive biomedical experiments would be unacceptable in a democratic society whose members are philosophically self-consistent. ..
  32. Forster R, Bode G, Ellegaard L, van der Laan J. The RETHINK project--minipigs as models for the toxicity testing of new medicines and chemicals: an impact assessment. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2010;62:158-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Their conclusions are presented in the articles of this special issue. The RETHINK project was funded as a Specific Support Action under the European Community 6th Framework Programme. ..
  33. Gupta S, Mishra M, Sharma A, Deepak Balaji T, Kumar R, Mishra R, et al. Chlorpyrifos induces apoptosis and DNA damage in Drosophila through generation of reactive oxygen species. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2010;73:1415-23 pubmed publisher
    ..The study suggests that (i) ROS may be involved in inducing apoptosis and DNA damage in the CP-exposed larvae of Drosophila and (ii) D. melanogaster may be used as an alternative in vivo animal model for xenobiotics hazard assessment. ..
  34. Webster J, Bollen P, Grimm H, Jennings M. Ethical implications of using the minipig in regulatory toxicology studies. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2010;62:160-6 pubmed publisher
  35. Yoshiyama Y. [Development of alternative animal experiments in pharmaceutical sciences]. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008;128:733-4 pubmed
  36. Lekshmi N, Geetha C, Mohanan P. Detection of interleukin -1? from isolated human lymphocyte in response to lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012;44:726-31 pubmed publisher
    ..To detect the interleukin -1? levels from single and pooled isolated human lymphocytes in response to lipolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid...
  37. Smith M, Oyston P. Animal usage in vaccine development and production: maximising results while minimizing use. Trends Microbiol. 2002;10:62-4 pubmed
  38. Vaculin S. [Ethics and legal aspects of use of animals in experimental studies]. Cesk Fysiol. 2000;49:30-3 pubmed
  39. Di Renzo F, Bacchetta R, Bizzo A, Giavini E, Menegola E. Is the amphibian X. laevis WEC a good alternative method to rodent WEC teratogenicity assay? The example of the three triazole derivative fungicides Triadimefon, Tebuconazole, Cyproconazole. Reprod Toxicol. 2011;32:220-6 pubmed publisher
    ..laevis method as adequate alternative model for teratogenic screening. ..
  40. Hedlund C, Hosgood G, Naugler S. Surgical education: attitudes toward animal use in teaching surgery at Louisiana State University. J Vet Med Educ. 2002;29:50-5 pubmed
    ..Respondents favored live animal use. They believed that model laboratories were helpful in learning aseptic technique and suturing skills but less helpful in learning tissue handling, dissection, hemostasis, or anesthesia. ..
  41. Knight S, Nunkoosing K, Vrij A, Cherryman J. Using grounded theory to examine people's attitudes toward how animals are used. Soc Anim. 2003;11:307-27 pubmed
    ..This paper discusses how such views may be justified and maintained. ..
  42. Matfield M. Talk to the people. Trends Neurosci. 2002;25:166-7 pubmed
    ..The public appears unaware that such standards have existed for some time. The scientific community should now re-focus its communication efforts to include the ethics and animal welfare aspects of this issue. ..
  43. CastaƱo A, Bols N, Braunbeck T, Dierickx P, Halder M, Isomaa B, et al. The use of fish cells in ecotoxicology. The report and recommendations of ECVAM Workshop 47. Altern Lab Anim. 2003;31:317-51 pubmed
  44. Berger J. Preclinical testing on insects predicts human haematotoxic potentials. Lab Anim. 2009;43:328-32 pubmed publisher
    ..The use of insects in haematotoxicity assays represents a preclinical testing strategy which will lower costs, accelerate screening and offer ethical benefits. ..
  45. Szyrach M, Paschenda P, Afify M, Zeng J, Tolba R. Resuscitation of warm ischaemia predamaged porcine kidneys by fibrinolytic preflush with streptokinase: reduction of animal experiments. Lab Anim. 2011;45:63-9 pubmed publisher
    ..On the basis of our results we believe streptokinase preflushed slaughterhouse kidneys to be an adequate alternative to organs from laboratory animals with the potential to further reduce the number of animal experiments. ..
  46. Hudson M, Howard B. The FRAME Reduction Steering Committee: reflections on a decade devoted to reducing animal use in biomedical science. Altern Lab Anim. 2009;37:23-6 pubmed
    ..Some of the Committee's major achievements are described, and, bearing in mind the current year-on-year increases in the number of scientific procedures on animals, its future activities are outlined. ..
  47. Dahiya P, Ogden B. Animal ethics in SIRS research. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010;2:5-10 pubmed
    ..This chapter discusses the ethical issues in animal research highlighting the need to use animals conscientiously. ..
  48. Cigna E, Bistoni G, Trignano E, Tortorelli G, Spalvieri C, Scuderi N. Microsurgical teaching: our experience. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2010;63:e529-31 pubmed publisher
    ..To overcome this dilemma, we have developed a three-step approach to optimise microsurgery training, particularly when there is no access to animal laboratories. ..
  49. Yin X, Zhu G, Li X, Liu S. Genotoxicity evaluation of chlorpyrifos to amphibian Chinese toad (Amphibian: Anura) by Comet assay and Micronucleus test. Mutat Res. 2009;680:2-6 pubmed publisher
    ..To our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the use of B. bufo gargarizans for genotoxicity assessment of chlorpyrifos. ..
  50. Xu L, Chen S, Nie W, Jiang X, Yao Y. Evaluating the phylogenetic position of Chinese tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) based on complete mitochondrial genome: implication for using tree shrew as an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research. J Genet Genomics. 2012;39:131-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The ongoing project for sequencing the entire genome of Chinese tree shrew will provide more information to clarify this important issue...
  51. Van Gele M, Geusens B, Brochez L, Speeckaert R, Lambert J. Three-dimensional skin models as tools for transdermal drug delivery: challenges and limitations. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2011;8:705-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Whether this goal will be achieved in the near future is uncertain and will be, in the authors' opinion, a very difficult task. ..
  52. Pinkert C. Transgenic animal technology: alternatives in genotyping and phenotyping. Comp Med. 2003;53:126-39 pubmed
  53. Trull F. Q & A: Frankie Trull. Interviewed by Genevive Bjorn. Nat Med. 2008;14:112 pubmed publisher