Harmonising the definition of refinement

Knowledge Source Identification
Knowledge source name Harmonising the definition of refinement
Owner/Developer Animal Welfare
Country United Kingdom
Languages English
URL http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ufaw/aw/2005/00000014/00000004/art00014
Description Russell and Burch's Three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) remain the cornerstone for principles guiding humane experimental research. However, the concept of refinement has evolved considerably since its first inception and there have been numerous interpretations, some of which are regressive from the original definition. In this paper we examine the interpretations of refinement, and propose a harmonised progressive definition that is in line with changes in animal ethics and animal welfare science. Our definition should be applied to all aspects of refinement: those related to housing, husbandry and care, techniques used in scientific procedures, periprocedural care, health and welfare monitoring, and experimental design. We argue not only that the concept should include the avoidance or minimisation of adverse effects experienced at any time during the life of an animal destined for use in a laboratory, but also that it should be applied to the founder animals. Furthermore, we take a proactive stance and argue that refinement should include enhancing well-being through environmental enrichment. The acceptance and application of this new definition by legislative authorities and in guidelines would represent a significant step forward for animal welfare.
Knowledge Source Category
Category Publication
Sub categories Review / Research article
Knowledge Dissemination and Sharing
Dissemination channel Website
Targeted audience (specified/objective analysis) Not specified
Users access Restricted access
Knowledge Characterization
3Rs relevance Refinement
Purpose Documentation and information
Technology/Tools Animal testing (in vivo)