Wolfensohn S, Hawkins P, Lilley E, Anthony D, Chambers C, Lane S, Lawton M, Voipio HM, Woodhall G.Reducing suffering in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2013 Jan 25. pii: S1056-8719(13)00017-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vascn.2013.01.009. [Epub ahead of print]
This report is based on discussions and submissions from an expert working group consisting of veterinarians, animal care staff and scientists with expert knowledge relevant to the field. It aims to facilitate the implementation of the Three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) in the use of animal models or procedures involving experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an experimental model used in multiple sclerosis research. The emphasis is on refinement since this has the greatest potential for immediate implementation. Specific welfare issues are identified and discussed, and practical measures are proposed to reduce animal use and suffering. Some general issues for refinement are summarised to help achieve this, with more detail provided on a range of specific measures to reduce suffering.
EAE is considered to be a “substantial/severe” procedure by the UK Government Home Office, i.e. the worst category So the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) instigated this report with a view of reducing suffering of animals but will lead us into not doing EAE. The problem is that by increasing the hurdles to do animal work in the UK, it just moves it East or Westward where people may not be so concerned about our furry friends, as we are in the UK. Therefore, driving the fish into the mouths of the shark Furthermore, if you want treatments for progressive disease you need to be at the more severe spectrum.
I think much animal research is a dying breed in UK……the universities are pricing it out of existence. You do not need to cut animal work down by legislation you can do it by economics, the only places that can afford to do it are funded by the Government.
I’m all for refining EAE, but this in my opinion is not the way to do it. It they had paid for MS researchers to get together there would have been a constructive discussion and it would be easier to get some consensus. A stick is not the answer……some of the suggestions were impractical.