Animal Research Ethics

Three guiding principles govern the humane use of animals in research. These principles are called the 3 Rs – Replace, Reduce, Refine. These principles were first described in a 1959 book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique by W. M. S. Russell and R. L. Burch. Their goal was to develop a more ethical and humane approach to the treatment and use of animals in. They also inspired the movement to seek alternatives to the use of animals in biomedical research and testing. The 3 Rs are: replacement of conscious living animals with nonsentient animals or materials, reduction of the number of animals used in an experiment or procedure, and refinement of the techniques used in order to decrease the incidence or amount of animal pain and distress.

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