The PETA Science Consortium International e.V. has received the prestigious Lush Prize Training Award for minimising animal testing through education and training. Dr. Gilly Stoddart accepted the award and prize of £25,000 on behalf of the Consortium.
The Consortium received the award for its multifaceted approach to providing educational outreach through organising webinars, initiating in-person training sessions and workshops, and developing educational resources to promote the implementation and acceptance of nonanimal methods for regulatory purposes. For example, it developed a free webinar series on incorporating nonanimal methods into testing strategies. The series featured experts from the European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing, the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency, and other leading experts from industry and academia. Chemical Watch, the leading European regulatory news and information service for the chemical industry, co-hosted the series, which reached thousands of scientists, company representatives and regulators live, and many more viewed the presentations online. Of participants surveyed, 80% stated that they had gained useful information on incorporating nontesting or nonanimal methods into a testing strategy and 50% were more likely to use these methods for REACH, the largest animal testing programme in history.
Through its website, the Consortium provides valuable resources to scientists regarding the use of nonanimal methods, including a list of validated and regulatory accepted alternative methods, factsheets on nonanimal methods for skin and eye irritation, skin sensitisation, and the use of Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR). It publishes widely on the use of alternatives. For example, a Chemical Watch article authored by Consortium scientists indexes current methods and strategies for minimising animal testing for the 2018 REACH deadline, and the website provides consolidated guidance on how to avoid animal testing for REACH.
A presentation about the prize can be viewed here.