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  1. Lush Prize – How to nominate

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    Young Researcher Prize 2013

    Do you want to make a nomination for the Lush Prize, the global initiative aiming to bring forward the day when safety testing takes place without the use of animals?

    Perhaps you are a campaign organisation raising awareness about animal experiments? Or a scientist developing non-animal testing methods? A young researcher requiring financial support or recognition for your efforts to avoid animal use? You may even just want to nominate your favourite animal protection organisation.

    The Lush Prize focuses pressure on toxicity testing for consumer products and ingredients, in a way which complements the many projects already addressing the use of animals in medical testing.

    There are five categories of award:
    Public Awareness – rewarding individuals or organisations raising public awareness of ongoing animal testing
    Lobbying – rewarding the work of individuals, groups or organisations pushing for change, focusing on policy interventions promoting the use of alternatives
    Science – individuals, research teams or institutions conducting work on relevant toxicity pathways
    Training – individuals, teams or organisations involved in training others in non-animal methods
    Young Researcher – young scientists (up to 35 years at the time of application) with a desire to fund the next stage of a career focussed on an animal-test free future

    Making a nomination is easy:

    1. First of all, think about the project / team / individual you want to nominate – does their work match what the Lush Prize is about? Does it conduct outstanding work to end animal testing, particularly in toxicology / safety testing?
    2. Which category of award does your nomination fit into? For example, a campaign group persuading companies to stop testing cosmetics on animals should be nominated for the Public Awareness award
    3. In the Nomination section of the website click on the relevant award category. Here you will find some information about the category and the sorts of work that are eligible
    4. Select whether you are nominating yourself or someone else. Depending on which you chose, you will be asked to provide either a 500 word or 750 word nomination. Write a draft nomination first and think about the kinds of work carried out and how they fit in with the Prize. Give specific examples of work and outcomes and dates. It is this evidence which the Lush Prize Team rely on during shortlisting of nominations. The work should have been conducted in the previous 12-18 months, except for Young Researchers which includes proposed work which the Prize money can fund
    5. The Lush Prize focusses on the 1R of replacement rather than reducing or refining animal experiments, so ensure the project you nominate fits this criteria
    6. For any of the science categories, read the eligibility guidelines to ensure the nominated project meets the scientific and ethical criteria of the Prize
    7. Complete your nomination!

    What happens next?

    1. We will email you to let you know we have received your nomination
    2. After the deadline of 25th July the Lush Prize Team meets to discuss all nominations. Our researchers will have also conducted detailed analysis of each prize sector to determine the key issues and effective organisations and individuals. We use all this information to draw up a shortlist of nominations
    3. If we require further information we will contact the nominated individual or organisation
    4. These nominations then go to an international and independent panel of judges. They are experts in all areas of lobbying, campaigns and science in relation to animal testing. They meet to discuss the shortlist and decide on winners
    5. Winners are informed and invited to attend the Lush Prize conference and Awards Ceremony in London where they collect their stunning hand-made award and their prize money!

    It is important to note that the Lush Prize is not an opinion poll – winners are not based on the number of people nominating them but on the evidence of their work. So, it is much better for an organisation to provide a detailed and evidence-based nomination than ask hundreds of supporters to nominate them!

    Don’t forget – all nominations must be received by 25th July 2014. Good luck!

    Any questions? Then feel free to contact us.

     

  2. One month to go until Lush Prize nominations close!

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    Whorling-Young-Researcher-prize

    The 2014 Lush Prize, the largest annual prize in the non-animal testing sector, closes for nominations in one month (25th July). The prize awards £250,000 to organisations and scientists working to replace animal testing with scientifically valid non-animal methods.

    According to Rob Harrison, Prize Fund manager: “In the past two years we have distributed half a million pounds in funding to organisations and individuals in nineteen countries, including the USA, India, Russia, Japan and six countries in Europe. This has supported campaigns lobbying companies to end animal testing for cosmetics to cutting edge work developing non-animal models of the human respiratory system.”

    Prizes are awarded across five separate categories: Public Awareness, Lobbying, Science, Training and Young Researcher. The full £250,000 is on offer as a Black Box Prize for a key breakthrough in human toxicity pathways research.

    Co-Founder of Lush, Mark Constantine OBE, said: “The Lush Prize is now in its third year and we are delighted at the quality of work we have supported around the world. Ending animal testing requires a commitment to financially support a spectrum of activities, from campaigns to science. Although the sale of animal tested cosmetics has now been banned in Europe, there is still much to do, particularly in the area of toxicological experiments as well as cosmetics testing in countries such as China and Brazil.”

    To help the Lush Prize reach into new territories, its website is now available in six languages, including Chinese, with three more being added.

    Nominations can be made on the Lush Prize website until the closing date of 25th July 2014. Individuals can nominate projects they support, or organisations and scientists can nominate themselves.

    “With just one month to go until nominations close, we encourage everyone to consider who they think could use this money effectively to end animal testing and nominate them via our website”, added Rob Harrison.

    Details of Lush Prize winners in 2012 and 2013 are available on the website – click here.

  3. How many animals are used in experiments around the world?

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    500-animal_experimentation

     

    If someone was to ask you how many animals are used in laboratory experiments around the world each year what would your answer be? One million? Ten million? Fifty million?

    Putting an accurate figure on this question is extremely difficult. The most reliable estimate, based on data from 2005, suggests 115.3 million animals are used in experiments annually (although the authors concluded this “is still likely to be an underestimate”. It will also exclude virtually all invertebrates).

    So, why don’t we know how many animals are used? Statistics on animal testing are not available for all countries that use animals. Sometimes this is because that country has no law on animal experimentation or simply doesn’t collect this information.

    Japan, for example, has a self-regulation system and surveys on the numbers of animals used do not have to be conducted. In Canada, only labs that receive research funding from the national funding agencies have to submit data.

    In countries where statistics do exist they usually exclude many animals. Examples include: animals killed to supply tissues (an additional 21% of animals on top of published figures); genetically-modified animals used only to maintain breeding colonies (an additional 34%); animals bred for use in labs but killed as ‘surplus to requirements’ (50% of mice and rats according to industry figures); some young animals in early stages of development (foetal and embryonic forms); and certain invertebrate species.

    A clear example of the way in which data is not uniformly presented is the UK. As an EU Member State it has to submit its animal testing data for inclusion in an EU-wide statistical report. However, the EU excludes numbers of genetically-modified animals used solely to maintain breeding colonies, whereas the UK includes them in its own report. So, the EU report states that the UK used just over 2 million animals in 2011, yet the UK’s own national report for the same year put the figure at 3.79 million – 1.7 million more animals.

    The USA, thought to be the world’s largest user of animals in labs, excludes 95% of animals from protection and data collection as the law does not cover mice, rats, birds, amphibians or reptiles. In 2012, the USA reported 1.1 million animals being used in experiments but the true number is estimated to be over 22 million.

    Some countries include more species or types of experiment under animal testing law. Norway, for example, includes honey bees and in the Czech Republic bird ringing (the capture of wild birds and placement of an identifying ring on one leg for conservation purposes before the bird is release unharmed) is classed as an experiment and it is included in statistics of animal testing.

    So, as we see, even when there are available statistics they’re not always reliable or easy to compare between one country and another.

    Is it important to know the extent of animal testing? We think so. For proper and transparent discussion to take place about the scientific and ethical issues surrounding animal experiments there needs to be an understanding of the level and types of experimentation, the species used and the harm done to individual animals. Only when we have this information can the impacts of regulation and the uptake of non-animal testing methods be adequately monitored.

    The Lush Prize works to end animal testing by funding science, campaigns and lobbying. We recognise the need for a joined-up approach across all these sectors and reliable information plays a critical part in this.

    The information in this blog is from a Lush Prize study into animal testing globally. To read the full report (PDF) click here.

    If you know an organisation or individual who you think deserves to win the Lush Prize, you can nominate them on our website.

  4. Why we need the Lush Prize

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    email_header

    A few years ago the owners of Lush became frustrated that, despite all the progress that had been made over the past twenty years, animal testing was still being carried out.

    Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the European Union, India and Israel, but is still required is some countries. The number of animal experiments conducted under EU chemical regulations REACH more than doubled between 2011 and 2014. Some scientists and regulatory authorities are slow to accept and take up non-animal testing methods even though they are more scientifically valid.

    Lush teamed up with Ethical Consumer and launched the Lush Prize in 2012. The Lush Prize is the largest annual fund – £250,000 (350,000€ / US$400,000) aimed at supporting the most progressive work in ending animal tests, particularly for toxicology (chemical testing). It rewards a series of joined-up initiatives to progress the work that is taking place around the world.

    In just two years the Prize has given half a million pounds (600,000€ / US$800,000) to scientists, companies and campaigners from New Zealand to the USA, from Russia to Canada. The list of winners and those shortlisted represent 19 countries, showing how truly global the Lush Prize is: Brazil, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, Pakistan and many more.

    Prize categories

    The five categories of the Lush Prize have been designed to provide resources to projects addressing the problem in different ways:

    • The Science Prize and Young Researcher Prize are designed to advance research into alternative non-animal tests

    • The Training Prize is designed to resource projects training scientists or regulators in non-animal methods

    • The Public Awareness and Lobbying Prizes are designed to keep up the pressure to make sure regulation is appropriate and updated to reflect advances in 21st-Century Toxicology

    There is also the Black Box Prize, which will provide the full £250,000 Lush Prize fund for a key breakthrough in human toxicity pathways research.

    Other activities

    The Lush Prize is far more than just about financially supporting a few organisations and individuals, important though that is. The Lush Prize Team also:

    • Carries out unique research into specific areas of interest – for example, in 2014 it produced a report looking at levels of animal testing around the world, highlighting how many countries have no regulation and produce no data on animal use

    Produces research papers on each prize area, looking at current and historical initiatives in those fields and identifying key organisations and scientists making a difference

    • Attends scientific conferences and presents evidence about why science needs to progress without outdated, cruel and unreliable use of animals. We promote the 1R of replacement, not the other 3Rs (the others being refinement and reduction)

    Key messages

    There are four key messages at the Lush Prize:

    1. Animal testing is both inhumane and unscientific
    92% of novel medicines that pass animal tests fail to reach the market, mainly because of unpredicted side-effects or because they are ineffective in humans.

    2. Toxicity testing should be based on reliable, truly non-animal, methods
    The US National Research Council encourages a move away from animal tests to “make toxicity testing quicker, less expensive, and more directly relevant to human exposures”.

    3. Campaign and lobbying initiatives should push for 1R rather than 3Rs
    The Lush Prize works for the 1R of replacement, not the other 2Rs of refinement and reduction.

    4. The Lush Prize works to end animal testing
    The annual Prize aims to speed the introduction of non-animal testing, particularly in toxicity testing for consumer products and ingredients.

    How you can support the Lush Prize

    If you know of an organisation, team, scientist or individual who you think should win one of the Lush Prize categories then nominate them!

    If you use social media, why not tell your contacts about the Prize and how they can make a nomination? Don’t forget to link to our Twitter @Lush_Prize or Facebook ‘Lush Prize Fund’ or website www.lushprize.org

    For more information on why we need the Lush Prize click here

  5. Lab chimps see sun for first time

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    This short video documents the release of more than 100 government-owned chimpanzees into Chimp Haven, an idyllic place of retirement for lab chimps in the US.

    The moving video was recently named the Telly Award’s ‘People’s Silver Winner’ for creative distinction. Kathleen Conlee, vice president of Animal Research Issues for the Humane Society of the United States said:

    “The faces of the chimpanzees from our undercover work is what has fuelled our efforts, and to see them finally reach sanctuary and step out on that grass led to a flood of emotions. But we still have more to do. We are so thankful this award gives us another opportunity to tell their stories as we work to get those chimpanzees remaining in laboratories to the sanctuary they so deserve.”

    If you know a group or person who deserves to be rewarded for their efforts in the fight against animal testing remember that nominations are now open for this year’s Lush Prize.

  6. What is 21st Century Toxicology?

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    testtubeWe answer your questions on the fight against animal testing. This week we take a look at what 21st Century Toxicology is all about. 

    Toxicology is a branch of biology, chemistry, and medicine (more specifically pharmacology) concerned with the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms.

    21st Century Toxicology is a new approach to safety testing which is exciting regulators, toxicologists, campaigners and companies around the world. It has become possible because of 21st century advances in biology, genetics, computer science and robotics. It involves a radical move away from studying traditional endpoints in animal tests, towards a completely new framework based on understanding toxicity pathways within human cells and tissues.

    As these molecular pathways are elucidated for different groups of chemicals and different toxic effects, computer technology helps to identify the key steps that can then be used to design non-animal safety tests.

    This transformation in toxicology has been unfolding since the publication of the US National Research Council’s 2007 report, Toxicology Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and Strategy. The new strategy offers many advantages over traditional animal testing, including: increased speed, human relevance and cost-effectiveness; a better understanding of the causes of toxicity; the prediction of human variability and effects at different life stages (e.g. infants, children, adults); easier testing of chemical mixtures; and a significant contribution to the replacement of animal testing, which causes suffering to many thousands of animals every year.

    Find out more by downloading this free issue of Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) — the international, peer-reviewed scientific journal exploring alternatives to animal testing.

    Send your questions to us via Twitter: @Lush_Prize or email craig@lushprize.org