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A Swedish strategy to replace animal experimentation

The National Committee and the 3Rs Center are working to compile a strategy to replace animal experimentation.

En forskare flyttar en skål med cellodling på ett arbetsbord

To culture cells into organoids is one way to replace animal experiments.

The National Committee and the 3Rs Center are working together on a strategy to replace animal experimentation. When finished, the document will guide the Committee's own work with Replacement, but also be used to inspire other stakeholders.

Idea and process

The idea to compile a Swedish strategy to Replace animal experimentation was originally brought up in 2019 at a workshop with researchers, industry and representatives from governmental agencies. The National Committee adopted the idea which has been incorporated in the 3Rs Center’s work since 2020.

A cornerstone of this work is that the strategy should be compiled in dialogue with relevant stakeholders. Unfortunately, the pandemic halted the work during 2020 and a first open workshop to collect information was organized in May 2021. The workshop brought together researchers, representatives from governmental agencies, research funding bodies and animal welfare organizations.

The workshop output was processed by the National Committee at several workshops during 2021–2022 and in August 2022 the Committee approved a short version of the coming strategy with an aim, boundaries, definitions, focus areas and targets. This document will be discussed with stakeholders for input on specific actions to be incorporated in the strategy.

Contents of the strategy

Sweden has a wider definition of animal experiments than the EU definition. The strategy will focus mainly on animal experiments according to the EU definition.

The three focus areas are

  • knowledge and collaboration regarding animal-free research shall increase
  • animal-free methods shall be developed and evaluated at a higher pace
  • animal-free methods shall be implemented and replace animal experimentation as soon as scientifically possible.

How to contribute

When the Swedish Research Council held their annual seminar on lab animals in early December, the National Committee and the 3Rs Center were invited to talk about the process to develop the strategy. We used this opportunity to also gather input from participants on actions that should be incorporated into the strategy.

Due to the financial situation for the 3Rs Center in 2024, the continued work with the strategy will unfortunately be delayed. However, the National Committee still aims to complete the work in due course and therefore, any contribution is valuable.

If you are interested in contributing to this work, please contact us by e-mail.