Establishing targets in various fields

The Netherlands National Committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes advises and follows the development and implementation of targets by various fields of science. A target is a realistic ambition for animal-free innovation in the next 10 years. This ambition is described in both quantitative and qualitative terms. A target aims to reduce animal use. The new animal-free models must produce results that are at least as good as the old ones that use animals. Various fields of science are currently working on targets for cardiovascular research and for immunological research.

Educational targets

At the end of 2019, the Dutch universities (VSNU) and university medical centres (NFU) started to draw up a target for animal-free innovation in university education and postgraduate training. They also wish to reduce animal testing while maintaining or increasing their quality of education. They furthermore find that students are aware of the importance of ethical dilemmas when it comes to animals. An inventory has been made of where lecturers are using alternatives to animal studies and whether these could be applied more widely. They are examining whether their education could be more innovative as well. This target is expected to be ready in the autumn of 2021. Within higher professional education, a target is also being drawn up for biotechnician programmes (Article 13f). The secondary vocational education institution that trains biotechnicians will be able to join in with this. This target will be completed by around the summer of 2021.