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IOM Explores Regulatory Hurdles of Animal Research

Posted 29 May 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

A new workshop summary from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls upon researchers to consider the judicious use of animals used in global neuroscience research.

In its 29 May release of International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on Neuroscience Research, IOM's group of experts convened under the auspices of the Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders note neuroscience research has specific and unique implications for animals used in research.

The workshop looks at five main questions: how are animals used in international research settings, what are the impacts of international animal research, what legal development affect the use of lab animals, how animal research regulations can be harmonized and the rationale behind the status quo of animal use regulations.

Explaining that opinions regarding the use of animals in research are "polarized," IOM's group sets out to explore the issues surrounding the research, and ultimately notes:

  • US and EU animal research regulations are largely similar, and new collaboration could improve harmonization between existing regulatory authorities and emerging regions.
  • Additional oversight of animal research regulations would take precious regulatory resources, of which many countries are sorely lacking. It is unclear whether this investment is worth the return relative to other investments yet to be made.
  • Reviews of preclinical data might focus on replacing, refining and reducing the use of animal studies, particularly where opportunities exist for improvement. This would be greatly assisted by sharing precompetitive data amongst consortiums of stakeholders, who would no longer need to duplicate studies.
  • Animal research regulations could stand to benefit from "quality science, animal welfare and public confidence"-all of which relate to the "larger needs of society."

Read more:

IOM - International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on Neuroscience Research - Workshop Summary

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