INNSBRUCK,AUSTRIA,05.DEC.23 - NON SPORTS - 3R Days. Image shows ISTA Sophie Schober (Klosterneuburg, Austria). Photo: GEPA pictures/ Michael Kristen

Thanks to a dissemination conference grant, Sophie Schober was able to attend the 3Rdays 2023 InN Motion in Innsbruck (Austria) from December 5-7th 2023.

Two contributions (short talks) have been submitted and accepted:

Session 2: Refine Animal Interactions

Title: A re-usable open-source platform to upgrade rat cages

Session 3: 3R & Regulatory

Title: Ovariectomy in surplus female mice to generate cage mates for experimental males – a refinement to improve biomedical science (Co-Author)

The first presentation showed a newly developed cage platform for rat cages made by ISTA. This platform offers an additional level in standard cages and thus contributes to refinement of animal experiments.

The second presentation described the improvement of animal welfare in animals single-housed due to experiments by providing sterile cage buddies.

During the conference, Dr. Schober was involved in engaging discussions (animal welfare committee meeting, meeting of veterinarians specialized in laboratory animal science). Main topics have been the avoidance of surplus animals, the avoidance of the severity level “severe” in animal experiments as well as the education of veterinarians in Austria regarding lab animals and 3Rs.

All are central topics of the COST ACTION IMPROVE whose aims and work were disseminated at the Austrian 3Rs days.

Thanks to dissemination conference grants under Cost Action IMPROVE Arti Ahluwalia and Winfried Neuhaus attended the 12th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC12) from August 27-31, 2023.

Arti Ahluwalia presented two lectures, one in the Symposium “Future of Multi-Scale Modelling and Simulation in Disease and Toxicology” (Title of the talk: Lab on a laptop: beyond the experimental model) and one in the Symposium “Implementing the 3Rs in Education under the theme Next-Gen Education” (Title of the talk: Centro 3R, mainstreaming replacement through pervasive 3R education). The first presentation described some of the virtual models developed in her lab. During her talk she put forward the proposal that in vitro models might be replaced by the “lab on a laptop”. Following the symposium, she was involved in engaging discussions on the value of in-silico models, analysing why they are not widely used and how to render them accessible to enable the implementation of viable and valid alternatives to animal experiments. This is a central theme in IMPROVE. In the second presentation she described the state of knowledge on the 3Rs at Italian universities before and after the Italian Centro 3R’s ( campaign of pervasive education at all levels. The results showed how education significantly increases the application of the 3Rs and promotes responsible research linked to WG4 Education of our COST Action.

Winfried Neuhaus gave a talk in the session "A World of 3Rs Centres: Unity in Diversity" entitled "The Rise of European 3Rs centres and their network EU3Rnet" focusing on the promotion of the COST Action IMPROVE as an outcome of the collaboration of the European 3R centres.

The WC12 congress was a dynamic and variegated event, providing a great opportunity to discuss the future of the 3Rs with scientists from all over the world, network with young researchers and leaders in the field, and to showcase Europe’s leadership in this area.