"ICAPO brings the views of more than 30 million members and supporters throughout Asia, Europe, and North America to the table."
Since 2002, animal protection has had a formal voice at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an influential international organisation that develops guidelines and programmes for the testing of chemicals. The OECD's testing-related activities historically have relied heavily on animal-based methods. The International Council on Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO) works to fully incorporate alternative methods that can replace, reduce, and refine animal use (the "Three Rs") in OECD activities, in the interest of animal protection, public health and sound science.
ICAPO gained official status as 'invited experts' at certain OECD programmes in early 2002, joining other non-governmental organisations representing business, labour, and the environment already serving as invited experts. ICAPO brings the views of more than 30 million members and supporters throughout Asia, Europe, and North America to the table.
Historically, decisions concerning new testing guidelines have been made by individual national governments, with little or no international harmonisation. The US Environmental Protection Agency, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, or the German Federal Environment Agency, for example, issued policy decisions concerning which tests were acceptable to the respective agencies and which new testing programmes the agencies were going to implement. However, decisions such as these are increasingly being made at the international level, through consensus among nations. Thus, it is extremely important to the animal protection community to be represented at the OECD.