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Animals used for scientific purposes

International harmonisation         

International harmonisation of regulatory testing requirements

A regulatory acceptance of alternative methods is required internationally if true reduction in animal use is to be delivered. An alternative method accepted in the EU alone will not deliver the potential benefits in reduced global animal use if results from the animal method are still needed to satisfy regulatory requirements elsewhere.

The Commission is actively promoting alternative methods on the international arena at fora such as OECD, ICH (the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use), VICH (International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products) and European Pharmacopoeia as well as during bilateral discussions with third countries.

The International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR) has led to the establishment of a Framework for International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM). This delivers cooperative framework for the validation of alternatives, utilising a stream-lined scientific peer review, and aims at developing harmonised recommendations on test methods, that may serve to support regulatory acceptance at international (e.g. OECD) and EU level.