Transparency Agreement on Animal Research

The Hubrecht Institute conducts research into developmental biology and stem cells. This research leads to innovations in, among others, the treatment of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The Hubrecht is committed to using alternatives to animal testing when possible, for example by using cell lines or organoids (miniature versions of organs grown from stem cells). However, the use of animals for this type of research is sometimes necessary.

We find it important to be open and transparent about animal testing at our institute. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), which the Hubrecht Institute is part of, has therefore signed the Dutch Transparency Agreement on Animal Testing.

This agreement was drafted by various Dutch researchers in collaboration with the European Animal Research Association (EARA) and Stichting Informatie Dierproeven (SID) and is inspired by existing transparency agreements from Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The aim is to create a more open and transparent climate around animal research, a subject that usually leads to heated discussions in society, the media and politics. As animal testing is such a sensitive topic, it is essential to provide context to communicate the benefits of using animal models. Dutch research institutes already share a lot of information and data about their animal research, but that information is not always easily accessible for the public. The signatories hope that this transparency agreement will make a positive contribution towards creating more openness and informed discussion about animal testing.

Four commitments

The signatories are involved in carrying out, supporting or funding animal experiments for the benefit of human and animal health, quality of life and nature and the environment. By signing, the organizations make the following four commitments:

  1. We are clear about when, how and why we use animals in research.
  2. We will enhance our communication with the media and the public about our involvement in animal research in the Netherlands.
  3. We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to inform themselves about research using animals and the regulations that govern it.
  4. We will report on our progress annually and share our experiences.

The summary of the agreement can be downloaded here.

In the context of the agreement, our institute participated in Be Open Animal Research Day 2023 (#BOARD23). Read the full statement here.