ASPIS members reflect on the importance of WC12: “We are progressing, and we are doing it together.” 

Matteo Piumatti, Altertox’s EU Project Manager, interviewed some members of ASPIS, like Dr Ouédraogo, on what were their impressions of the WC12.

After 6 years, the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC12) has finally been able to take place in person, in Niagara Falls, Canada. For five days, stakeholders from academia, industry, government, and NGOs could be in the same space, sharing experiences, ideas and challenges to implement the 3Rs—to reduce, refine, and replace the use of animals in the life sciences. 

It has been since 2017 that we met in person and we terribly missed the opportunity to meet each other, to be able to discuss, to share updates on the science level, but also on the regulatory level, and most importantly on the acceptance level.” said Dr Gladys Ouédraogo, from RISK-HUNT3R.

The enthusiasm is obvious: “It is very exciting to be here and hear all the inspirational talks from the researchers, risk assessors and industrial partners, because everybody is so excited about ending the animal testing and we can get so much inspiration from them.” claimed Eliška Kuchovská, from ONTOX. 

Elisabet Berggren, form RISK-HUNT3R, pointed out how interesting is to discuss the 3Rs outside of the European Union: “Often, we are speaking more within the EU, so it is really good to come to this platform where you are really international, and talk to non-EU scientists. We are progressing, and we are doing it together.”

On the same line, Mathieu Vinken, the ONTOX coordinator, highlights the importance of international collaboration to implement the 3Rs: “This is the only place where the 3Rs fully meet 3Is, so that is international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary. This is exactly the kind of strategy that we need to expedite the implementation of the 3Rs.” 

Aside from taking from the Congress, ASPIS had a lot to provide to the debate, as said by Jonathan Freedman: “There is a lot of enthusiasm for what ASPIS is doing and PrecisionTox specifically. Both have been cited in several talks. When I introduce myself as a member of ASPIS people brighten up. 

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