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Animal Welfare and Alternative Models

Animal Alternative Models

This Animal Welfare and Alternative Models guide is designed to help campus researchers to comply with federal regulations by serving as a starting point for locating information and performing literature searches on any topic in the field of animal testing alternatives.

Research assistance is available at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library. Contact the Health Sciences Librarian for in-depth research assistance.  

For further information about regulatory requirements and accreditation, please see the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities website.

Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard. The Act was amended six times (1970, 1976, 1985, 1990, 2002, 2007) and is enforced by the USDA, APHIS, Animal Care agency. The 1985 admendement is the part of the act that most directly affects animal research.

(Adapted from the Animal Welfare Act hompage.)

The Three R's

The Three R's Principle, as established by Russel and Burch in The Principles of Human Experimental Technique, are general guidelines that are followed when considering using animals for experiments and research. They are aimed at removing the inhumanity when using animals in research. The Three R's are:

Reduction. Using as few animals as possible to obtain precise information.

Replacement. The substitution of lower level animals, e.g. invertebrates, for those conscious living higher animals, which will still give you the needed data.

Refinement. In cases where animals have to be used, any decrease in the incidence or severity of inhuman procedures to those animals.

(From Russell and Burch's The Principles of Human Experimental Technique.)

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
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