The limitations of animal experimentation in improving human healthcare is overwhelming, but more than 11 million animals are still used in research every year in the EU alone. In a conference sponsored by Animal Defenders International, the authors of a new book, ‘Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Shift’, presented their critical look at the current scientific paradigm and set out proposals for progress.
Cancer, Alzheimer’s and HIV are just a few examples of diseases that have been cured in animals for decades without any real impact on human patients, and many scientists now understand that using a non-human system to study humans makes little scientific sense.
The authors of ‘Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Shift’ stress that inter- and intra-species differences need to be taken into account when establishing a scientific method, which is why human-relevant methods are taking over as the most promising approaches to understand and treat human pathophysiology. However, scientific policy makers, funders, journal editors and regulators have been somewhat resistant to change.
Panel discussion exploring how progress can be accelerated to phase out animal use at UK #BookLaunch with ADI’s Jan Creamer, Luisa Bastos from @Act4AnimalsEU, Mara-Daria Cojocaru from Munich School of Philosophy & @HermesSanctorum#ParadigmChange#HumanRelevantScience pic.twitter.com/6khB5T93Tb
— ADI (@AnimalDefenders) March 8, 2019
At the one-day conference,, innovators, animal advocates and researchers on the impact of science met to discuss ideas to accelerate progress towards human-relevant methods and phase out the use of animals in science. Their consensual message was that policy makers need to establish concrete targets to phase out animals used in specific methods or areas of research. They also believe that debate and collaboration among all parties is essential to find the best solutions to establish chain-oriented processes that can progress from development to application with a real impact on people’s lives.
The book will be available online for free at the end of March, and can be downloaded here.