Replacement - methods which avoid or replace the use of animals.
Reduction - minimising the numbers of animals used - for example by improving the experimental design and statistical analysis used in a study.
Refinement - improving experimental procedures, and other factors affecting animals such as their housing and care, to reduce suffering and improve welfare throughout the animals’ lives.
Promoting the implementation of all 3Rs and developing practical ideas and recommendations for how this can be done is an integral part of the work of the research animals department.
This section of the site shows examples of our recent and ongoing work on the 3Rs - see the pages in the left hand menu.
Providing information on these issues to countries in Eastern Europe and Asia is also part of our work.
Other key input
- The research animals department scrutinises existing EU and UK legislation, and all proposals for new or revised laws which involve animal testing. We challenge the need for animal testing in these laws, and campaign for the greatest possible aviodance of animal testing and the use of alternative methods in testing requirements - for example, see REACH - the new EU chemicals law (2007) (PDF 51.4KB)
- We also work to ensure that implementation of the 3Rs is a guiding principle in laws controlling the use of animals in science - see Revision of UK lab animal law.
- We are represented through Eurogroup for Animals on the International Council of Animal Protection in OECD Programmes (ICAPO), which seeks to ensure that animals are replaced wherever possible in test guidelines set out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
- The research animals department is also represented through Eurogroup for Animals on the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA).
- In addition, the research animals department has produced a presentation: The 'R' of Replacement - the potential for implementing alternatives to the use of animals in research and testing (2012) (PDF 3.37 MB), which is offered as a resource for teachers, lecturers or trainers, and as a source of information for lay members of local ethical review processes and others with an interest in the subject.
The reasons for considering replacement are presented, and the potential scientific and practical advantages illustrated with examples drawn from current replacement projects. Advice is given on how to integrate consideration of replacement into the design of research programmes.
It is intended primarily for those who are involved in biomedical research, or who are intending to pursue a career in research fields in which animal experiments are currently used, and can be adapted and modified to suit particular education or training needs as required. The presentation may be viewed and downloaded as a pdf file, or an editable version of the original powerpoint presentation can be requested for free by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org .