“It is widely recognised that the humanist possible treatment of experimental animals, far from being an obstacle, is actually a prerequisite for successful animal experiments.”                                                                                                                                                                    W.M.S. Russell & R.L. Burch, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique

The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, published in 1959, was the foundation of what is now known as the Three Rs field of Reduction, Refinement and Replacement of animal use. In their 1959 book, William Russell and Rex Burch proposed a novel applied science, which aimed at ameliorating the treatment of research animals while improving the quality of scientific and medical research and testing. They suggested that implementation of the Three Rs yields more reliable data as experiments would be appropriately designed in a manner that decreases variation, provides standardized optimal conditions of animal care and minimizes unnecessary stress.

Current regulatory guidelines take the Three R Principles into account; for example the AAALAC’s (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International) and CCAC’s (Canadian Council on Animal Care) ethical standards of animal experimentation is based on these three guiding principles of Reduction, Refinement and Replacement. ITR, being CCAC- and AAALAC-accredited, is strongly committed to adhering to the principles of the Three Rs in order to produce quality scientific data while meticulously caring for our research animals. Our mission is to promote animal welfare through incorporating these guiding principles in all of our practices, thereby enabling the propagation of Russell and Burch’s legacy.

In this newsletter, we delve into the role ITR plays in implementing the Three Rs:

  • Reduction through developing a single-handed jugular venipuncture blood collection technique
  • Refinement through selecting European-style housing

Replacement through using human cells for certain types of studies