Existing Alternatives

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Existing Alternatives

Last updated: August 1, 2014

In many countries, scientists are required to conduct a thorough literature search for alternative methods prior to using animals in research and testing. The following websites, articles, and databases contain useful information on animal alternative methods.
3R Research Foundation: 3R Info Bulletins

ALTBIB database

ALTEX article Alternatives to Animal Experimentation in Basic Research (2004)

AltTox (in addition to resources listed on this page): Table of Validated and Accepted Alternative Methods; Existing Non-animal Alternatives; Test Methods/Protocols; Alternatives Websites; Databases; Journals

AltWeb Search for Alternatives

Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) 3Rs Search Guide

DB-ALM ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation

EPAA-supported article Cross-sector review of drivers and available 3Rs approaches for acute systemic toxicity testing by Seidle, et al. (2010)

EUROECOTOX database of bioassays

DB-ALM ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal ExperimentationTSAR: Tracking System for Alternative test methods Review, Validation and Approval in the Context of EU Regulations on Chemicals; ECVAM Search Guide: Good Search Practice on Animal Alternatives

Go3R semantic search engine to avoid animal experiments

Information Managers in the Pharmaceutical Industry report: Searching for 3Rs Information – Published Literature Sources  (2002)

Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)

Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM)

NC3Rs: NC3Rs Information Portal; Acute toxicity testing of chemicals: opportunities to avoid redundant testing and use alternative approaches by Creton, et al. (2010)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Test Guidelines, Guidance, and Review Documents; Draft Test Guidelines

SCCS Guidance on the Safety Assessment of Nanomaterials in Cosmetics (June 2012):considerations for testing nanomaterials, especially regarding the EU testing ban

UCDavis Center for Animal Alternatives Information, Literature Search for Alternatives Worksheet

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and UK REACH Competent Authority guidance: REACH – Minimisation of Animal Testing (2010)

USDA Animal Welfare Information Center: Literature Searching and Databases; Worksheet and Instructions for Alternatives Literature Searching (2009); The Use of Databases, Information Centers and Guidelines When Planning Research That May Involve Animals (2005); Searching Bibliographic Databases for Alternatives (2006); National Agricultural Library AGRICOLA Catalog

ZEBET (Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments, Germany): AnimAlt-ZEBET database


Searching animal studies can prevent unnecessary duplication and thus unnecessary animal use (Reduction). The following sources could provide some useful guidance.

SYRCLE (Systematic Review Centre for Laboratory animal Experimentation)

Hooijmans, et al., Radboud University, Central Animal Laboratory and 3R Research Centre articles:

3Rs – Reduction.co.uk: interactive short course on experimental design for research scientists working with laboratory animals with aim to reduce number of animals used. Certification form is available for animal technicians to provide to ethical review committees, IACUCs, and laboratory supervisors.