Searching for Non-animal Toxicity Test Methods

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Searching for Non-animal Toxicity Test Methods

Last updated: October 30, 2015

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 Guide: database for locating resources to implement the 3Rs; developed by Norecopa and USDA’s Animal Welfare Information Center

3R Research Foundation: 3R Info Bulletins; 3R Methods

ALTBIB database: from the US National Library of Medicine

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; Toxicity Endpoints & Tests; Test Methods/Protocols; Alternatives Websites; Databases; Journals

AltWeb Search for Alternatives

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

DB-ALM: EURL 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)

EURL ECVAM Search Guide: Good Search Practice on Animal Alternatives

EUROECOTOX database of bioassays

FRAME: A guide to searching for alternatives to the use of laboratory animals (currently being updated)

Go3R semantic search engine to avoid animal experiments

In Vitro Toxicology Systems: book by EURL ECVAM scientists on in vitro models and integrated test systems for various human health endpoints

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)

InterNICHE Alternatives Database

Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM)

NC3Rs Information Portal

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

NORINA: database of alternatives or supplements to animal use in education and training

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)

TSAR: Tracking System for Alternative test methods Review, Validation and Approval in the Context of EU Regulations on Chemicals

UC Davis Center for Animal Alternatives Information, Literature Search for Alternatives Worksheet

UK REACH Competent Authority Information Leaflet Number 18: Minimisation of Animal Testing (2014)

USDA Animal Welfare Information Center: Literature Searching and Databases; National Agricultural Library AGRICOLA Catalog

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

ZFIN: The Zebrafish Model Organism Database


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

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.

Animal Welfare Institute: Enrichment and Refinement Databases

FRAME Training School in experimental design and statistical analysis

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

Humane Endpoints: training for monitoring welfare in laboratory animals, identifying humane endpoints, and understanding responsibilities

InterNICHE Studies Database: includes alternatives in education, surgery, and veterinary medicine

Interspecies Database: help for researchers in making optimal choice of species and strain of the animal model, which is essential for efficient extrapolation of animal data to humans

Radboud University Medical Center: Systematic Reviews