NIVA scientist awarded NORECOPAs annual award on 3Rs for animal testing
The greatest scientific achievements have always been the most humane and the most aesthetically attractive, conveying that sense of beauty and elegance which is the essence of science at its most successful. Since 2010, Norecopa has awarded a prize for outstanding efforts to advance "the 3Rs" - Replacement, Reduction & Refinement - in connection with animal research. This year’s award has been awarded Adam Lillicrap, Research manager at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).
The aim of the Norecopa’s prize, Norway's National Consensus Platform for the advancement of "the 3 Rs", is to increase awareness and use of the 3R principle in research. The ultimate aim of the 3Rs was to abolish inhumanity (or distress), and thereby achieve humanity (Russell & Burch, 1959).
Replacement alternatives: methods which permit a given purpose to be achieved without conducting procedures on animals.
Reduction alternatives: methods for obtaining comparable levels of information from the use of fewer animals in scientific procedures, or for obtaining more information from the same number of animals.
Refinement alternatives: methods which alleviate or minimize potential pain, suffering or distress, and which enhance animal well-being.
Dr Lillicrap has been involved with developing animal alternatives for ecotoxicology for nearly 20 years, originating with a review on alternative approaches for environmental risk assessment (ECETOC, 2003). Consequently, he was elected as the chair for the research liaison team for a CEFIC LRi project developing in vitro cytotoxicity assays and the use of fish embryos as an alternative to fish acute toxicity tests (OECD203). Lillicrap was nominated by The Norwegian Environment Agency as the Norwegian expert for fish test guidelines and was the independent advisor for the validation management group for the Fish Embryo Toxicity (FET) test guideline.
Adam has been actively promoting the use the FET test as a replacement/refinement to acute fish toxicity testing through his involvement within numerous regulatory frameworks (e.g., European Medicines Agency committee for veterinary products as a nominated expert for the environmental risk assessment working party). He was an invited expert for a recent workshop at ECHA regarding the role and applicability of the FET test in the EU under REACH.
Adam Lillicrap was also responsible for the revision of the OECD fish bioaccumulation test incorporating a minimised approach to reduce the number of animals from ca.110 to 20 fish/test. He has been the chair of the SETAC global Animal Alternatives Advisory Group for the past 4 years and hosted a session on animal alternatives in Brussels (co-chaired by ECHA and ECVAM). Adam Lillicrap is the project leader for the new draft ISO standard for an in vitro cytotoxicity assay (submitted in 2016).
Norecopa place special emphasis on advances in research and development which benefit Norwegian conditions. Adam has actively promoted the use of alternative approaches both on a national and international level. The committees that he is involved with as a Norwegian representative are within the international scientific arena.