National Platforms for the 3 Rís: what are they and how does the Swedish platform function?
Adrian Smith, Laboratory Animal Unit, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo & Staffan Jacobsson, Swedish Animal Welfare Agency
The EU Directive 86/609 and Council of Europe Convention ETS123 both emphasise the need for national expertise within the three Rís.† As a result of this, an organisation called ECOPA was established to stimulate the appointment of national centres of competence (platforms) for the three Rís.
ECOPA (European Consensus-Platform for Alternatives, http://ecopa.vub.ac.be) defines a platform as a body representing the four Ďstakeholdersí interested in animal experimentation: the authorities, academia, industry and the animal welfare movement.†† ECOPA has so far recognised 11 national platforms, and 3-4 countries are in the process of establishing such a centre.†† ECOPA arranges annual workshops on aspects of the three Rís and takes an active part in policy-making in Europe.
Several European countries have, in addition to a national platform, created monetary funds, many of which make considerable sums of money available to researchers wishing to start projects of relevance to the three Rís.
This presentation will discuss the advantages of an ECOPA-style platform and describe the experiences that Sweden has had both with a national platform and a fund for alternatives.