ZEBET database on alternatives to animal experiments on the Internet (AnimAlt-ZEBET)
One of the tasks of ZEBET is to provide scientists from industry, universities and public authorities with information on alternative methods in a database developed for that specific purpose. Since February 2000 the ZEBET database on alternative methods to animal experiments has been accessible without license fees on the Internet in German and English through the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI).
The ZEBET database is mainly designed to support the examination of the imperative nature of animal experiments by providing information on possible alternative methods. To this end, the ZEBET database offers validated information on alternative methods.
In the ZEBET database only those methods are documented which fulfil at least one of the three following criteria:
- the method can be used to replace animal experiments (Replacement)
- the number of experimental animals is reduced (Reduction)
- the pain and suffering of the experimental animals are minimised (Refinement)
These criteria correspond to the scientific principle of the "3Rs" for the development of alternative methods to animal experiments which were developed by Russel and Burch and published in 1959 in their book "The Principles of Humane Experimental Techniques".
Moreover, the state of development and the scientific or official acceptance of alternative methods is assessed and documented. To this end, a distinction is made between the criteria "development", "validation", "scientific acceptance" and "regulatory acceptance".
The documents in the ZEBET database are classified in data fields, e.g. designation of the method, keywords, evaluation, summary and references.
Research in the ZEBET database is undertaken using the database and host system grips developed by DIMDI.