News - February 23, 2012

Animal testing database

Professor Stassen: impact is likely to be small

A good idea, but it is doubtful whether it will work. That is professor of Animals and Society Elsbeth Stassen's view on the Dutch animal rights party's popular plan to register all animal tests from now on. The advantage of such a database, says Stassen, is that scientists would be obliged to register all animal tests. ‘So it would include tests that don't lead to a publication. That would be a plus. It would prevent the same test from being repeated by others.' But Stassen questions the feasibility of the proposed databank. ‘There is a tension between openness and intellectual property rights in externally funded research. This applies to Wageningen especially.' According to Stassen, there is more to be gained by adjusting the rules and regulations (including international ones) on registering new foods and medicines. And, she says, more money should be spent on looking for alternatives.