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 publically available data. We are currently investigating ways to better align global data requirements across the different industry sectors.

Recommendations to reduce chronic fish testing of plant protection product formulations
Guidance to reduce and refine fish acute toxicity testing
Reducing the numbers of fish needed in regulatory bioconcentration tests
Strategies to avoid acute toxicity testing of pesticide metabolites in fish
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