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We are pleased to inform you that a website user survey showed that information provided by the interspecies website of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has led to a reduction in laboratory animal use. The survey was carried out in 2010. It can therefore be concluded that the website effectively contributes to the policy goal of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports to effect a reduction in the use of laboratory animals.
The website (www.rivm.nl/interspeciesinfo) was set up in 2006 with the objective of reducing the use of laboratory animals. Data freely available on the website include physiological and anatomical parameters of laboratory animals and humans. By comparing these parameters, the user of the website is able to design more efficient animal studies; for example, the appropriate animal species can be chosen and unnecessary animal studies prevented. The results of such animal studies are used to predict the effects of compounds in humans. The website has 5,500 unique visitors per month.
Half of the respondents (73 in total) indicated that the use of the website has led to a reduction in the number of laboratory animals being used in their work. The reported reduction varied between 1 and 65% of the number of animals used annually, with an average of 22%. This is a decrease of approximately 20,000 animals per year. This reduction is very high taking into account the limited size of this user survey.
the interspecies team
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