Animals in environmental safety testing

Our work in this area aims to provide an evidence base to refine and reduce the use of vertebrates in (regulatory) ecotoxicology studies. This is supported by a working group of experts in the field from industry, academia, regulatory and government agencies. The group published a consensus opinion piece in 2015 outlining the current and future 3Rs priority areas within ecotoxicity testing.

So far, we have mainly focused on reducing the use of fish in the agrochemical industry, particularly in the testing of plant protection products (e.g. pesticides). Projects have largely utilised retrospective data analysis of company-owned or publicly available data. We are currently investigating ways to better align global data requirements across the different industry sectors.

Recommendations based on our in-house data analysis projects, supported by expert working groups.
Recommendations to reduce chronic fish testing of plant protection product formulations.
Reducing the numbers of fish needed in regulatory bioconcentration tests.
Recommendations for best practice and global harmonisation.
Reducing requests for the repetition of regulatory ecotoxicity studies.
Bringing together experts in the fields of exposure science, efficacy and toxicology to increase the uptake of non-animal approaches.
Information and news on the development and application of pathways-based approaches.
Our office-led programme which aims to increase the utility of mechanistic approaches in safety assessment.
Additional information, resources and references.