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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2006 Dec 30;150(52):2857-62.

[Developments in the area of animal experiments in biomedical research].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Nederlands Vaccin Instituut (NVI) en Nationaal Centrum Alternatieven voor dierproeven (NCA), Universiteit Utrecht, Bilt- hoven.


Although many would like to see it differently, animal experiments are still very important in biomedical research. The solution to fundamental questions in the area of cancer or chronic diseases as well as the legally-required registration and release of vaccines or drugs are all impossible without studies on laboratory animals. - The point of departure in existing legislation on animal experimentation is the principle of 'responsible use'. Important aspects in this connection are the education and training of those working with laboratory animals, the monitoring of animal welfare, and the ethical evaluation of proposed studies. - In addition, for various reasons, substantial attention is being given to possible ways of replacing, reducing or refining the use of experimental animals, the so-called 3Rs. Significant progress has been made in this field. - The number of animals used for research in the Netherlands has been reduced by about 50% in the last 25 years. In recent years, however, there is a trend of increase and decrease due to scientific and social developments such as the availability of genetically modified animals and the increased priority given to product safety. - Consequently, animal experimentation will for the time being remain indispensable in biomedical research, although its role will shift in the direction of the confirmation of results obtained by animal-free methods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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