- Experts want funding
Experts want lab technology funded -
The Guardian. 19 October 2010.
Letter: Animal research and the squeeze on science funding.
"Scientists across the country will be awaiting the outcome of tomorrow's comprehensive spending review with understandable trepidation (Letters, 16 October).
Inevitable cuts to the UK science budget will likely have a devastating impact on Britain's research effort. Those of us whose work focuses on or benefits from novel 3Rs approaches – replacing, reducing and refining the use of laboratory animals – may have particular cause for concern.
Securing funding for 3Rs research is already a challenge. There are precious few dedicated 3Rs funders and mainstream funding sources seldom prioritise innovation aimed at reducing dependency on live animals or proposing entirely new approaches aimed at replacing animal models altogether. Reducing and replacing animal research wherever possible is, quite rightly, a requirement on all scientists. The government recognises the very real scientific and animal welfare advantages produced by novel alternative techniques in toxicology as well as medical research.
The government's National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) demonstrates what can be achieved when sufficient state funding for alternatives is in place. After years of funding neglect, alternatives are now far better supported and consequently Britain has become a world leader in alternatives technology development. But for how much longer?
Three Rs approaches like three-dimensional test tube models of disease and non-invasive neuroimaging offer exciting new answers to existing research questions. Many of the techniques already replacing traditional animal use are also far swifter and cheaper at producing results. But the societal benefits of exploiting such techniques will be lost if the funding environment becomes so squeezed that there is little room left for taking research risks. Innovation needs to be encouraged, not stifled and marginalised."
Professor Geoff Pilkington, University of Portsmouth,
Professor Miles Whittington, Newcastle University,
Dr Franco Falcone, University of Nottingham,
Dr Charles Knowles, Queen Mary University of London,
Dr Craig Winstanley, University of Liverpool,
Professor Michael, Coleman Aston University,
Professor David Baker, Queen Mary, University of London,
Dr Leslie R Noble, University of Aberdeen,
Professor CV Howard, University of Ulster,
Dr George McKerr, University of Ulster,
Professor Philip Stephens, Cardiff University,
Dr Deborah Holliday, University of Leeds,
Professor Susan Jobling, Brunel University,
Dr Deborah Mason, Cardiff University
What technology is available instead of animal tests? Read about it here.