Published advisory reports

The NCad the advisory report ‘Transition to non-animal research – About the possibilities for phasing out animal procedures and stimulating innovation without laboratory animals’ was presented 15 December 2016 to Dutch Minister of Agriculture Martijn van Dam . The NCad drew up the advisory report at the Minister’s request. The committee was asked to put together a roadmap for the reduction in the number of procedures involving animals, and identify the possibilities for becoming the world leader in innovation without the aid of laboratory animals by 2025.

According to the NCad, in order to transition to research that no longer uses procedures that involve animals, it will be necessary to let go of existing attitudes and practices. The government and society will also have to take a different approach to risk. The transition to testing without animal procedures will not happen of its own accord, and requires focus and a clear strategic direction. The NCad advises that the Minister should take the lead, and also involve other ministries in order to develop a government-wide coherent policy that links animal testing policy to other policy issues, such as innovation and sustainability. The NCad is making recommendations in three areas: ‘Clear transition goals’; ‘Transition strategy’, and ‘Management of the transition’.


Alternative methods for killing laboratory animals

In July 2016, the NCad presented its advisory report on 'Alternative methods for killing laboratory animals' to the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Martijn van Dam. The original report in Dutch was published on the Dutch NCad website in August 2016 in consultation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The report is now also available in English.

Procedures using cats and dogs

The Dutch Minister of Agriculture has asked the NCad to develop a national strategy to minimise and annually reduce the number of cats and dogs used in procedures, to be achieved through intensive cooperation between knowledge institutions and independently of the ethical review by the CCD. The opinion 'Procedures using cats of dogs'  is now also available in English.

Four NCad opinions March 2016

At the end of March 2016, the NCad presented four advisory reports to the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Martijn van Dam. In response to requests from the field, the reports were published on the Dutch NCad website on 17 May 2016 in consultation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. On 9 June, the Minister sent the advisory reports, together with his policy response, to the House of Representatives of the States General.

These are the advisory reports concerned:

Rehoming of former laboratory animals

Opinion on the rehoming of former laboratory animals. The NCad advocates that, based on the intrinsic value of the animal, non-human primates, cats and dogs used in animal procedures must in principle be rehomed in a location suited to them until the end of their lives (the principle of ‘yes, unless’). In order to put in place a harmonised and transparent rehoming process, the NCad has drawn up a framework in which the rehoming process is described in general terms. This framework can be applied to several species of animals. In addition, Codes of Practice have been drawn up that focus specifically on dogs, cats and non-human primates.

Pain management in laboratory animals

Opinion on how to prevent, recognise and combat pain in laboratory animals. The basic principle is that no animal must ever suffer unnecessarily. The advice comprises a Code of Practice (CoP) that aids researchers, bio-technicians and Animal Welfare Bodies in putting this into practice. The CoP includes an infographic that highlights the key areas in preventing, recognising and combating pain in laboratory animals.

Synthesis of Evidence

Advice on the possible applications of Synthesis of Evidence (SoE) in relation to the performance of animal procedures. The advice summarises the use of the various options that can be applied with regard to SoE. The NCad considers an SoE that is carefully documented in all its aspects to be of great importance to increasing the quality of research questions and the research design of laboratory animal research.

Management and utilisation of data on laboratory animal use and 3R alternatives, part 2

The second part of the advice on providing access to data on the use of laboratory animals and 3Rs in the form of open data. In this part, the NCad has specified indicators that jointly provide a clear and broad view of developments in laboratory animal use and the 3Rs. It has also provided a limited cost-benefit analysis.

Advisory reports 2015

On 12 October 2015, the NCad submitted two advisory reports to the Minister for Agriculture:

Make data on animal procedures more accessible

Greater openness and transparency on animal procedures, and options with regard to their Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (3Rs) are very important. Accordingly, all data on the use of laboratory animals and on the potential of the 3Rs should be made accessible. That is the NCad recommendation to the Minister for Agriculture at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In this connection, the NCad has a data warehouse in mind. Here, all information available to the government on animal procedures and the 3Rs would be made accessible as open data.

Rapid technological developments offer opportunities for reducing the number of laboratory animals killed in stock

Monitor new technological developments closely, and keep them on the right track. Require licenced establishments to appoint breeding coordinators to monitor the quality and use of the technology used in conjunction with laboratory animals. That is the NCad recommendation to the Minister for Agriculture at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In its advisory report, the NCad also provides guidelines to enable the supply of animals to be better matched to demand.