Recap of 3Rs Day 2023

Innovation and Animal Welfare: Recap of the Swiss 3Rs Day 2023

The picturesque city of Lugano, Switzerland played host to the Swiss 3Rs Day on September 19th, organized by the Swiss 3Rs Competence Centre (3RCC). This year's event was a resounding success, drawing a diverse crowd of over 170 attendees, including students, industry professionals, researchers, veterinarians and animal caretakers, all with a shared commitment to advancing the principles of Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement (3Rs) in animal research.

The Swiss 3Rs Day provided a platform for thought-provoking discussions, insightful case studies, and the exploration of innovative technologies aimed at improving the well-being of lab animals and advancing scientific research.

Case Studies on 3Rs Implementation

The event started with case studies showcasing the practical implementation of 3Rs principles. Lauriane Cabon (Roche, Switzerland) shed light on "Replacement", by sharing exciting data where animals are substituted with alternative methods such as organoids. These in vitro approaches hold tremendous promise in replacing & reducing the use of animals in experiments while maintaining scientific rigor.

Chloe Stevens from the RSPCA (UK) discussed the importance of "Refinement" emphasizing how meticulous housing improvements can enhance the quality of life and the reliability of research outcomes even for non-mammalian species such as zebrafish.

Innovations in 3Rs Research

The "3Rs Innovation and Research" session brought forth cutting-edge technologies that aim to revolutionize the 3Rs for both lab animals and researchers. Eoin O’Connor (Roche, Switzerland) presented an industry perspective on the digitalization of in vivo studies, showcasing how technology can streamline research processes and reduce the need for animal experimentation.

Pia Kahnau from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany introduced the IntelliCage System, which allows home cage-based experiments, offering a more natural environment for research animals while collecting valuable data.

National 3R Center Perspectives

Arti Ahluwalia, from Centro 3R and the University of Pisa, Italy, provided valuable insights into how strategic education efforts have enhanced the implementation of the 3Rs in the Italian context. This perspective offered attendees a broader understanding of the importance of developing 3Rs principle trainings.

Recognizing 3R Excellence

The event also featured an engaging "Awardees Presentations" session, where 3RCC's award winners showcased their impactful 3R work. This recognition celebrated the dedication of individuals and organizations committed to advancing animal welfare and ethical research practices.

Poster Session: Spotlight on Promising Research

The Swiss 3Rs Day also featured a dynamic poster session that included outstanding presentations, particularly from young researchers. Estefania Delgado-Betancourt, from Dominique Soldati-Favre’s lab at the Université de Genève, and member of the 3RCC’s Early Career Researchers Network, received the Poster prize for her work on "Assessing the role of heme intermediates’ acquisition during acute and chronic stages of Toxoplasma gondii infection". Her research exemplified the caliber of work being done to further the 3Rs cause.

The 3Rs Swiss Day 2023 in Lugano reaffirmed Switzerland's commitment to advancing ethical research practices, reducing the use of animals in scientific experiments, and refining research methodologies for the benefit of both animals and scientific progress. The event served as a powerful platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the exploration of innovative approaches to animal research and its replacement, reduction and refinement.

Find the full Programme Booklet here.