TOKYO—Marking the 60th anniversary of the ‘3Rs’ principle of replacement, reduction and refinement of animals in science, the Japanese Coalition for Animal Welfare and Humane Society International have launched a new report, “Reconsidering the Future of Animal Experimentation,” featuring articles by experts on this issue, such as researchers on non-animal alternatives and lab animal scientists.
JCAW and HSI have been collaborating to engage regulatory authorities and policymakers for the revision of Japan’s Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which just passed this year. The revised AWA includes a supplementary provision that states that stakeholders will continue discussions on and review lab animal related issues. The two organizations will continue to work together to engage stakeholders and raise public awareness beyond this revision.
The report includes a comprehensive review of regulations and policies around the world, including the United States and Europe, that promote and mandate the use of non-animal alternatives. Common themes among these public policy initiatives include the concept of mandatory alternatives (entrenching the 3Rs in law), prohibition of animal use generally regarded as scientifically unnecessary (e.g., animal testing for cosmetics), and metrics and timetables for achieving replacement or reduction of animal use.
JCAW representative Dr. Koichi Aoki said, “This omnibus report provides an overview on the global regulatory situation and the current position and situation of various stakeholders associated with animal testing and animals used in research. The revision of the AWA left a clause in the supplementary provision that states that the review and discussion on lab animal issues shall be continued. Thus, we hope that this omnibus report, which provides an insight into the current situation from various perspectives, would serve as a catalyst for a healthy dialogue in which all stakeholders of the issue could actively participate.”
Troy Seidle, vice president HSI’s Research & Toxicology Department, said, “Many countries around the world have regulations on animal testing or for advancing the uptake of state-of-the-art non-animal science and technology, and we are hoping that the omnibus report will provide Japanese stakeholders with the most recent information on such trends. One such example of the regulatory process would be the changes in the cosmetics sector. Already 39 major economies have enacted laws prohibiting or restricting cosmetic animal testing and/or trade. Similar bills are under discussion in various countries, including the United States and Canada. Regulatory changes in the cosmetics sector have served as an incentive for transitioning to human biology based non-animal methods worldwide. We hope that the Japanese stakeholders will put this report to good use in future discussions based on the supplementary provisions in the revised AWA.”
JCAW and HSI are planning to directly present the omnibus report to various stakeholders, but the report can be downloaded free of charge here (report available only in Japanese).
HSI (Japan): Sakiko Yamazaki, firstname.lastname@example.org (interview in both Japanese and English)
JCAW: Koichi Aoki, email@example.com
Humane Society International and its partners together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 25 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals using science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org
The Japanese Coalition for Animal Welfare is a coalition of organizations, corporations, and individuals who support “the creation of a harmonious way of life for both people and animals” and engages in activities to educate the public on the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals and to work toward improving the abovementioned law through lobbying activities targeting competent authorities, local authorities, and Diet Members. Visit us at https://www.dokyoren.com/ (homepage only available in Japanese)