Alternative methods for the use of non-human primates in biomedical research

ALTEX. 2014;31(4):520-9. doi: 10.14573/altex.1406231. Epub 2014 Jul 24.


The experimental use of non-human primates (NHP) in Europe is tightly regulated and is only permitted when there are no alternatives available. As a result, NHP are most often used in late, pre-clinical phases of biomedical research. Although the impetus for scientists, politicians and the general public to replace, reduce and refine NHP in biomedical research is strong, the development of 3Rs technology for NHP poses specific challenges. In February 2014 a workshop on "Alternative methods for the use of NHP in biomedical research" was organized within the international exchange program of EUPRIM-Net II, a European infrastructure initiative that links biomedical primate research centers. The workshop included lectures by key scientists in the field of alternatives as well as by experts from governmental and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, parallel sessions were organized to stimulate discussion on the challenges of advancing the use of alternative methods for NHP. Subgroups voted on four statements and together composed a list with opportunities and priorities. This report summarizes the presentations that were held, the content of the discussion sessions and concludes with recommendations on 3Rs development for NHP specifically. These include technical, conceptual as well as political topics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Experimentation / ethics
  • Animal Experimentation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animal Testing Alternatives / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Animal Testing Alternatives / methods*
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animals
  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Housing, Animal
  • Neurosciences
  • Primates*
  • Public Policy
  • Research Design*
  • Stem Cells