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Animal options

作者:高零    发布时间:2019-03-02 08:14:03    

By GAIL VINES Alternatives to the 3 million animals used in scientific experiments each year deserve more government support, says a report commissioned by POST, the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. Options include funding more research into alternatives, through the research councils or the Home Office, or even the creation of a new institute devoted to validating alternative methods, the report says. Last year, the Home Office devoted £200 000 to research aimed at replacing animals. The report says ‘there is concern over the reliability of future funding’. ‘Such paltry sums are pathetic,’ says Les Ward, director of the pressure group Advocates for Animals. He supports the notion of an alternatives centre, perhaps partly funded by the major medical research charities. Gill Langley, director of the Dr Hadwen Trust, a charity working to develop alternatives, argues that such an institute could act as a focal point. But she warns that ‘it would have to be a place of great authority, and attract some of the best brains in Britain’. Chris Fisher, director of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, puts a priority on ‘a proper government strategy targeting resources into alternatives’ rather than a centre dedicated to such research. David Morton, professor of biomedical sciences and ethics at the University of Birmingham, sees little point in duplicating the new European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods in Italy. ‘There should be more money spent directly on research, and why not give it to FRAME?’ FRAME, the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments, is Britain’s leading charity for research into alternatives. The chairman of its trustees, Michael Balls, who is professor of medical cell biology at the University of Nottingham, dislikes the idea of a centre that might direct funds into just a few select projects. ‘In Britain, we need much greater funding, and real open competition for it, to develop novel approaches to scientifically valid and reliable replacements for current procedures,

 

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