Refinement of animal experiments

Refinement is one of the "three Rs" (Replacement, Reduction and Replacement) of Russell and Burch, a concept which is described in more detail here.

They defined the three Rs as:

Replacement alternatives: methods which permit a given purpose to be achieved without conducting experiments or other scientific procedures on animals

Reduction alternatives: methods for obtaining comparable levels of information from the use of fewer animals in scientific procedures, or for obtaining more information from the same number of animals

Refinement alternatives: methods which alleviate or minimise potential pain, suffering or distress, and which enhance animal well-being

The R of Refinement has been called the Cinderella of the 3Rs, and this presentation discusses whether it still is.

Examples of refinement to end severe suffering are given here on the RSPCA website.

Other literature
Lloyd ML, Foden BW & Wolfensohn SE (2008): Refinement: promoting the three Rs in practice. Laboratory Animals, 42, 284-293.

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