Promoting the 3Rs principle in animal experimentation in Luxembourg
21 October 2022
On 20 October 2022, the "Second Luxembourg 3R Symposium" was held, an event highlighting the excellent work that Luxembourg scientists and government are doing to advance the 3Rs principle (replacement, reduction and refinement) to further protect animals in laboratories.
The symposium, which was attended by internationally renowned researchers and representatives of animal protection organisations, provided an opportunity to discuss scientific advances in the field of animal experimentation, both at national and European level, as well as best practices to improve the quality and ethical aspects of research projects conducted in Luxembourg.On this occasion, our member organisation the Lëtzebuerger Déiereschutzliga also awarded a prize for a contribution to the replacement, reduction and improvement of the use of animals in research. The 3R prize was awarded to the "Environmental Health Group" of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology for the development of in vitro models of the human alveolar region. This project is well integrated in international consortia and EU projects, it was able to establish good connections with regulatory bodies and industry, and it has the potential to address scientific and ethical concerns when using animals to study the human respiratory system.
It is worth noting that Luxembourg's investment in life sciences resulted in the number of animals used in science increasing significantly from 2015 to 2017, but since then has been steadily decreasing. However, the latest figures for 2020 are not expected to reflect a sustainable reduction in animal use, but rather a consequence of the reduction in activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic restriction measures. It is therefore important to continue our efforts to improve the application of the 3Rs and ensure the best possible protection of animals in laboratories.