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3Rs Alternatives: Technologies, and Approaches

3Rs alternatives refer to the reduction, refinement, and replacement of animal use in research, testing, and teaching. The concept was developed by Russell and Burch in a 1959 book entitled Principles of Humane Experimental Technique. A fundamental goal of the Animal Welfare Act and the accompanying regulations is the minimization of animal pain and distress via the consideration of alternatives and alternative methods.

US Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

This 1986 report analyzes the scientific, regulatory, economic, legal, and ethical considerations involved in alternative technologies in biomedical and behavioral research, toxicity testing, and education.

Humane Society of the United States and Proctor & Gamble.

The goal of this web site is to advance non-animal methods of toxicity testing through online discussion and information exchange.

Canadian Council on Animal Care.

This site provides useful information on the three Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement alternatives) to those involved with the use of animals in science.

European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM). 

An inventory of knowledge sources (KS) potentially relevant to the Three Rs used in the area of life sciences has been compiled which should be viewed as a snapshot of the current status of knowledge sources available (the supply), and as a starting point for further analysis of knowledge sharing strategies.


December 2017 "3-minute 3Rs" podcast, LabAnimal in collaboration with the NC3Rs in London.