|Abstract||The principles of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) were developed over 50 years ago as a framework for humane animal research. They have subsequently become embedded in national and international legislation regulating the use of animals in scientific procedures. Opinion polls consistently show that in the UK support for animal research is conditional on the implementation of the 3Rs.
Today the 3Rs are increasingly seen as a framework for conducting high quality science in the academic and industrial sectors with more focus on developing alternative approaches which avoid the use of animals. There are a number of reasons for this including the need for better models and tools that more closely reflect human biology and predict the efficacy and safety of new medicines.
The need to improve the design, conduct and analysis of research using animals is also gathering momentum, with greater emphasis from the scientific community on minimising use and improving animal welfare. Knowledge about animals' physical and behavioural requirements is expanding rapidly and translating this into practical information is critical to minimise pain and suffering as well as ensuring the robustness and reproducibility of the experiments they are used for. |