The growing sensitivity in favor of the development of alternatives to the use of animals in research has been the driving force behind the different social, cultural and scientific movements in favor of the development, validation and legal implementation of such alternative methods. These movements, which have become consolidated in the form of different national institutions and organizations, have played a relevant role in the decision taking process at European level - where Spain, as a member of the Union, is correspondingly affected. The lack of an element capable of agglutinating interest in the research and application of alternative methods in this country poses the need for an organization capable of serving as a meeting point for the different entities implicated. In consequence, under the Honors Presidency of Her Majesty the Queen, and organized by doctors E. de la Peña, G. Repetto and M.J. Gómez-Lechón, a meeting was held on October 21, 1997, in the Center of Glaxo Wellcome S.A. in Tres Cantos (Madrid, Spain), with the participation of 30 experts from different Scientific societies and the Industry, together with observers pertaining to the Administration. As a result of this meeting, the decision was adopted to constitute a Commission to analyze the different organizational options suggested, with the proposal of the alternative considered to be ideal for impelling the development of research and the use of alternative methods in Spain. (The report and Act of the above mentioned meeting is available on the internet: , Documents section.)
There is presently great social, scientific, economical and industrial pressure to develop and implement methods capable of offering an alternative to animal experimentation. In this sense, and considering that a number of national organizations have arisen in the past 20 years in the European setting to channel this demand, the need has been postulated to create a similar organization in Spain. Such an organization would serve to establish connections with the Administration, Industry and the groups, entities and societies interested in such alternatives.
The members nominated on occasion of the above meeting (Dr. José V. Castell, Dr. Adela López de Cerain, Dr. Eduardo de la Peña, Dr. Domingo Gargallo, Dr. Guillermo Repetto and Dr. Eugenio Vilanova) in turn held a series of meetings (Alicante, Miguel Hernández University, on January 9, 1998; Madrid, Center of Glaxo Wellcome S.A., on April 3, September 30 and October 26, 1998). The present document represents a synthesis of the ideas on which the Commission has been working. As such, it is made available to those who attended the above mentioned meetings, and to those persons, entities and organizations interested in the research, development and utilization of alternative methods.