Workshop “Alternative methods for the use of non-human primates in biomedical research” at the BPRC

5 March 2014

BPRC - 1. Workshop “Alternative methods for the use of non-human primates in biomedical research” at the BPRC

Because of their close resemblance to humans, non-human primates (NHP) are used to study particular aspects of human biology and disease. That resemblance also poses an important dilemma in biomedical research. Like humans, non-human primates are complex social species and their welfare, housing and care taking is demanding for specialized expertise and facilities. Both society and biomedical researchers wish to reduce the numbers of animals needed for experimental purposes to an absolute minimum, with a maximum effort to ensure animal welfare and good science. Important guidelines for that quest are the three R’s of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.

In this regard, at 27-28 Februari 2014, a workshop was organized at the BPRC on the topic “Alternative methods for the use of NHP in biomedical research”. This workshop, framed within the international exchange program of EUPRIM-Net II, a European initiative that links biomedical primate research centra, served four main purposes:

  1. Sharing information in order to accommodate, validate and spread the use of alternative methods in primate research
  2. Discussing the potential and the challenges of alternative methods
  3. Identifying obstacles hampering the development of alternatives in NHP research
  4. Providing transparency on the status of alternative methodology in primate research

The workshop included lectures by key players in the field of alternatives as well as workshop sessions to stimulate discussion.