||In 1959, British scientists William M. S. Russell and Rex L. Burch wrote that scientific excellence and humane use of laboratory animals are inextricably linked. In The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique,* they described the "three Rs"-reduction, refinement, and replacement-of animal use in the life sciences, concepts now known as "alternatives."
Legislation mandating the incorporation of the three Rs into animal research and testing has been passed in the United States and Europe. Because some scientists view discussion of altematives as driven exclusively by political and social forces rather than by scientific considerations, an international group of scientists prominent in the alternatives field met
at a May 1995 workshop to reaffirm the scientific basis of the three Rs and to discuss how these concepts can best be disseminated to the scientific community.