For over 50 years, Virbac's mission has been to prevent and treat animal diseases including those with potential zoonotic impact. To that end, the company has the responsibility to ensure the safety and efficacy of its products intended for all animal species.
In order to comply with legal obligations and to provide safe and efficacious products, Virbac, as with all pharmaceutical companies, is required to conduct animal testing in specific cases: when necessary and where there is no approved alternative method. Virbac favours the use of alter-native methods wherever possible and encourages initiatives which aim to replace, reduce or refine animal testing.
To ensure the implementation of these principles, Virbac has developed and adopted the fol-lowing code which applies to all Virbac employees and external partners.
- Regulations, as well as scientific and ethical frames of reference, relating to animal testing must be applied. These measures apply to living vertebrate animals (mammals, fishes, amphibi-ans, reptiles and birds) including independent larval forms and the foetal forms of mammals as of the final third of their normal development.
- The international 3Rs principles - Reduce the number of animals, Refine accommodation and usage conditions, Replace with alternative tests - must always be followed.
- The best standards of animal care and testing must be followed.
- Studies must be designed with the aim of minimising the impact on the animals and all measures must be taken to reduce the discomfort, distress and suffering of the animal.
- All studies must be reviewed for ethical assessment prior to implementation.
- All animals must come from sources which have been validated, or approved by the author-ities, and be transported according to regulations in force.
- The skills, qualifications and ethical training of all staff involved in animal testing must be ensured.
- Whenever possible, development of new alternative methods or implementation of existing alternative methods must be favored.
- When studies are carried out in association with veterinary clinics on domestic animals or livestock, for which the principles 3 and 6 cannot be applied, appropriate standards of ani-mal welfare must be complied with.
- This code applies to all Group staff and external partners including specific sub-contractors, research bodies and suppliers. These external partners are requested to comply with the spirit and the letter of this code when providing services to Virbac.