Methods that replace techniques that use live animals, or methods of testing substances without live animal use, are known as alternatives, replacements or non-animal methods. Some prefer the term advanced technologies given the fact that they often rely on more sophisticated technology and are more human- relevant than the animal test they replace (see Langley et al., 2015). There have been efforts to replace animal tests since the 1960s. Significant progress initially came in replacing animals used to diagnose human disease; to produce biological drugs (such as vaccines); and to safety test batches of these drugs as they were produced. Concerns about safety were the initial driver for this, as drugs produced using animal material could be contaminated with animal diseases. However, cost, efficiency, and the need for swifter and more accurate predictions also played a part. Some of the earliest replacements are, in fact, no longer referred to as such, as they are now standard practice. For example, the polio vaccine used to be produced in primary monkey kidney cells, resulting in the death of tens of thousands of monkeys every year. However, by the 1970s, the use of long-lived human or monkey cells in culture was common place and the risk of contamination with animal viruses was also eliminated ( Bookchin and Schumacher, 2005). Batches of the vaccine against yellow fever used to be tested for efficacy (potency) on animals in lethal dose tests, but these tests were replaced by a cell culture test, the plaque-reduction neutralization test, in the 1970s (World Health Organization, who, 2007).
Taylor, K. (2019). Recent developments in alternatives to animal testing. In Animal experimentation: working towards a paradigm change (pp. 583-609). Brill.