The importance of good and transparent communication about animal research is increasingly recognized. This agreement was drafted by various Dutch researchers in collaboration with the European Animal Research Association (EARA) and Stichting Informatie Dierproeven (SID) and is inspired by existing transparency agreements from Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The aim is to create a more open and transparent climate around animal research, a subject that usually leads to heated discussions in society, the media, and politics. As animal testing is such a sensitive topic, it is essential to provide context to communicate the benefits of using animal models. Dutch research institutes already share a lot of information and data about their animal research, but that information is not always easily accessible for the public. The signatories hope that this transparency agreement will make a positive contribution towards more openness and an informed discussion about animal testing.
The signatories are involved in carrying out, supporting, or funding animal experiments for the benefit of human and animal health, quality of life and nature, and the environment. By signing, the organizations make the following four commitments:
- We are clear about when, how, and why we use animals in research.
- We will enhance our communication with the media and the public about our involvement in animal research in the Netherlands.
- We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to inform themselves about research using animals and the regulations that govern it.
- We will report on our progress annually and share our experiences.
“This is a big step forward for the biomedical sector in the Netherlands,” said EARA executive director Kirk Leech. “It has been shown that transparency agreements in other European countries have led to a much more informed and evidence-based debate in society on the use of animals in research.”
The signatories are: Amsterdam UMC, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Charles River Laboratories Den Bosch B.V., Envigo RMS B.V., Erasmus University Medical Center, Leiden University, Maastricht University, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Radboudumc, Radboud University, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Groningen, Vereniging Sportvisserij Nederland, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research.
A summary of the agreement can be downloaded here.