The RAAT Project: Alternatives to using animals in research
One of the hidden pockets of animal cruelty in Western culture is in the scientific laboratories that use animals in experiments. Currently there are about 6 million animals used in experiments each year in Australia (Singer 2009). The vision of the Replace Animals in Australian Testing (RAAT) project is to reduce the number of animals used in scientific experiments and medical research in Australia. We are developing a network of researchers and other individuals or groups interested in advocating non-animal based research and in strengthening the Australian Government/NHMRC guidelines for animal testing. In 2008 we launched the RAAT website http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/research/raat, which is an information resource on replacement technologies for animal testing. Achieving advances in alternatives to animal testing requires a change in both scientific and social attitudes as well as promoting new and innovative research approaches and technologies. We are exploring ways forward in communicating and developing RAAT.