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BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 20 November '16
Animal-free science achievements receive £250,000 funding
Scientists and campaigners around the world who are working to end animal testing were rewarded with £250,000 funding at a ceremony in London on Friday 11 November. This is the largest prize fund of its kind, supporting the complete replacement of animal testing.
Now in its fifth year, the Lush Prize has so far provided over £1.5 million to support projects across 27 countries that are helping to end animal testing in toxicology research.
This year, 12 projects from eight countries were recognised at an awards ceremony in London, and an additional eight young scientists received awards at ceremonies in Canada and South Korea.
Ending animal testing
Among this year’s winners are the first Lush Prize recipients from China and Iran, who were recognised for creating awareness about animal testing and training scientists in non-animal research methods.
Awards for lobbying initiatives to end animal tests went to organisations in Brazil and India, while scientists from the UK, Singapore, Germany and Luxembourg received a share of the £250,000 fund.
The areas covered by the Lush Prize are: Science, Young Researchers, Training, Lobbying and Public Awareness. Focusing on complete replacement of animal testing (rather than reduction and refinement) makes the Lush Prize unique in this field.
This year, two new prizes were introduced to support young scientists in Asia and the Americas, recognising the difficulties of working in, and receiving funding for, non-animal methods in those regions. This has raised the Lush Prize 2016 prize money to £330,000 – with the regional Young Researchers receiving £10,000 each ($15,000).
Five American researchers received $75,000 at a ceremony in Vancouver, Canada on 01 November and a further three young researchers from Asia will be rewarded in Seoul, South Korea on 18 November.
‘The Lush Prize has gone from strength to strength. In five years we have been able to provide £1.5 million towards ending animal testing through science, public awareness and lobbying for legislative change. Rolling out additional Young Researcher prizes this year is part of our plan to support the next generation of scientists who can bring forward progression in non-animal research and ensure regulatory acceptance of these tests, both to move away from unethical animal use and provide research methods that are directly relevant to human health.
‘The Lush Prize Conference, held on 10 November in London, again provides a unique platform for campaigners and scientists to talk and work together and we are delighted to host guests from around the world to explore issues of regulating chemical safety without animal tests.’
Lush Prize spokesperson
The Lush Prize
Every year, it is estimated that more than 115 million animals are used in testing laboratories around the world.
A joint project between cosmetics company Lush and research group Ethical Consumer, the Lush Prize is designed to drive forward the complete replacement of animals in experiments, particularly in toxicology (chemical testing) research.
It rewards groups or individuals working in the field of cruelty-free scientific research, awareness-raising and lobbying to help bring an end to animal testing.
What was already the biggest prize in the non-animal testing sector (£250,000), and the only one to focus solely on the replacement of animal tests, has grown this year to total £342,000.
The 20 winners in 2016 were selected by an international panel of experts (http://lushprize.org/2016-prize/2016-judges/),from 55 shortlisted science teams, organisations and individual researchers.