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Ethical considerations

The advancement in research is required to improve health and reduce suffering. It relies on the acquisition of new knowledge of functional anomalies produced from the disease and their control by medications. Different experimental approaches, in vitro, in vivo, or even ex vivo are used to obtain this information. Laboratory projects based on in vitro models permit the exploration of new paths of research on cellular types of interest. Studies performed directly on "the living" are essential to understand the complex interactions that exist between the organs and the cells. Animal models are also essential for the discovery of new medications, and to assess their efficacy and innocuousness.

Research protocols that involve animals undergo strict evaluations by animal care committees of the institutions, and by the granting agencies or other funding sources to assure high scientific significance of the project and the ethical use of the animals. The participating research groups to the ERTB respect the rules of the three R’s (reduction, refinement, replacement) in planning their projects.

  • La «réduction» permet d’assurer qu’un nombre minimum d’animaux sont utilisés pour un projet, tout en étant suffisant pour l’obtention de résultats statistiquement exploitables.
  • Le «raffinement» regroupe deux points importants. Le premier consiste à utiliser un modèle animal représentant fidèlement la maladie étudiée. Le deuxième est de s’assurer que le stress, l’inconfort et la douleur associés à la recherche sont réduits au minimum.
  • Le «remplacement» sert à vérifier que le projet proposé ne peut être effectué par des études in vitro plutôt qu’in vivo.

The participating centers of the ERTB study diseases that develop naturally within the species, and that are of major importance for the health of horses and their owners, and the equine industry. As they also share similarities with asthma, the ERTB facilitates successful collaboration to foster scientific advancements for man and for the horse. The different participating centers follow the strict ethical regulations of their institution and country. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal, the hosting center of the ERTB, conforms to the rules of CCAC (Canadian Council on Animal Care) and to the CÉUA (Ethics Committee on Animal Use).