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International deal signed to reduce animal testing.

KEY regulatory agencies have signed an international agreement to work together in significantly reducing the number of animals used in experiments worldwide. The Japanese Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), the US National Toxicology Program and Canada's Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau have initialed a memorandum of cooperation. They will formalise the way they work together in test method evaluation, validation studies, independent scientific peer review and handling regulatory authorities. They will also develop harmonised recommendations on regulatory issues. "Reducing animal testing, both out of concern for animal welfare and ethical issues, and protecting consumer safety are two major objectives of this international agreement," said the European Union's (EU) science and research Commissioner Janez Potosnik. A separate European Commission note said: "It is expected that, as a result of the agreement, testing methods that undergo scientific validation will be more credible and more rapidly applied ...."
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Author:Nuthall, Keith
Publication:International News
Date:May 1, 2009
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