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Responsible treatment of laboratory animals

17 October 2019

Admescope has always been committed to advance the ethical use of animals in science and to demonstrate its significance, in March 2019 we applied for an accreditation by AAALAC International. The accreditation stands for high quality animal care and use in research organisations, where the primary standards and legislation are followed.

The guidance for improving animal welfare and performing ethically acceptable animal research have been established decades ago. The guiding ethical principles are called the 3Rs, namely Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. We at Admescope want to be in the frontline to improve the animal welfare and responsible treatment of animals in research.

In a nutshell, the 3Rs mean that whenever possible the use of animals should be replaced by alternative methods, the number of used animals should be reduced and all the animal housing, care and procedures should be refined to ensure optimal animal welfare. The use of animals in research is strictly regulated and the 3Rs are considered in the legislation.

Thanks to improvements in research techniques, a vast amount of preclinical drug development work can be performed using e.g. computer aided approaches and various in vitro experiments. However, despite the extensive ongoing development work, currently there is no available technique that could fully replace the use of animals. Therefore, eventually the compounds need to be tested for their behavior in a whole physiology. At the early stages of drug development mice and rats are the most often used animal species.

It is of the importance to pay attention to the study design to guarantee obtaining scientifically sound data with minimal number of used animals. Therefore, at Admescope, we feel that it is essential that the staff is highly educated, trained and experienced to be able to successfully perform all the steps from study design and conduction to data analysis. In addition, continuous education is essential to stay up-to-date on various related topics, which contribute to animal welfare. As an example, it is important to learn new ways of refinement e.g. by adopting improved techniques such as microsampling or to optimise the housing conditions according to the latest scientific understanding.

AAALAC International is a private non-profit organisation promoting humane treatment of animals in research, through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. After thorough evaluation by AAALAC International site visitors and council, Admescope is proud to announce that we were awarded AAALAC accreditation in September 2019!

Written by

Miia Kovalainen

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