The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down, Wiltshire, is licensed by the Home Office to conduct the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) in-house research involving the use of animals.
The Home Office only allows testing if it is clear that the benefits outweigh the harms, and that the principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) have been fully taken into account and will be implemented.
Dstl operates in accordance with the principles of the 3Rs, and has an active programme to increase 3Rs implementation. For example, Dstl has developed an in-vitro method to measure the biological activity of anti-toxin medical countermeasures and has recently agreed with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency that our new tissue culture can replace animals in the future.
In 2015, Dstl was part of a five-organisation partnership with the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, which published a roadmap on developing and applying non-animal technologies (NATs) to improve the methods and ways of testing the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, veterinary products, chemicals, agrichemicals and consumer products.