NCad opinion Synthesis of Evidence in laboratory animal research

Media attention has possibly created the impression that a large percentage of animal procedures could have been avoided if an Synthesis of Evidence (SoE) method, such as Systematic Reviews (SRs), would be applied more generally. According to NCad, SoE makes a crucial contribution to the quality of laboratory animal research, yet the NCad also points out that SoE can sometimes lead to an increase in the number of laboratory animals in an experiment because this improves the study design in certain situations. An analysis of many animal procedure publications does reveal, however, that there is often a lack of essential information relating to the experimental design.

In this position statement, NCad describes the use of various SoE methods in planning and conducting laboratory animal research and the contribution of these methods to 3Rs policy. Careful preparation for laboratory animal research is evidently important and necessary for its quality and acceptance in society.