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Scientific uses of animals: harm–benefit analysis and complementary approaches to implementing the Three Rs

Author(s) : G. Griffin, J. MacArthur Clark, J. Zurlo & M. Ritskes-Hoitinga

Summary :

The principles of humane experimental technique, first described by Russell and Burch in 1959, focus on minimising suffering to animals used for scientific purposes. Internationally, as these principles became embedded in the various systems of oversight for the use of animals in science, attention focused on how to minimize pain, distress and lasting harm to animals while maximising the benefits to be obtained from the work. Suffering can arise from the experimental procedures, but it can also arise from the manner in which the animals are housed and cared for. Increased attention is therefore being paid to the entire lifetime experience of an animal, in order to afford it as good a quality of life as possible. Russell and Burch were also concerned that animals should not be used if alternatives to such use were available, and that animals were not wasted through poor-quality science.

Experimental design – Harm-benefit analysis – Meta-analysis – Publication standard – Reduction – Refinement – Systematic review – Three Rs.

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